The nation’s governors examined the issue of childhood hunger during
today’s Education, Early Childhood and Workforce Committee session at
the National Governors Association Winter Meeting.
In 2010, the U.S. government estimated 10 percent of the country’s
children, about 8.5 million, did not have enough to eat. The committee
session, titled “Feeding America’s Children: Governors’ Efforts to
Eliminate Childhood Hunger,” engaged governors in a conversation about
effective state strategies to reduce childhood hunger. Governors heard
from U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack; Julie Gehrki,
senior director at the Walmart Foundation; and Daniel Weekley, vice
president–government affairs for Dominion Resources.
hunger is a priority issue for the nation’s governors because it
undermines a child’s wellness and ability to learn.” said Arkansas Gov.
Mike Beebe, chair of the committee. “Governors are working to solve this
problem through the use of innovative policies and tools, including
partnerships with businesses and nonprofit organizations. We are united
in our commitment to ensuring that our nation’s children have enough to
“Governors remain concerned about several new federal mandates in the
National School Lunch Program that would make it more difficult to
ensure the state’s goal of feeding hungry children.” said Tennessee Gov.
Bill Haslam, vice chair of the committee. “It is very helpful for
governors to hear from Secretary Vilsack and experts from the private
sector so that together we can move one step closer to solving the issue
of childhood hunger.”
Vilsack shared his perspective on this issue and discussed opportunities
for states and the federal government to partner to implement the new
child nutrition law. Gehrki and Weekley discussed their partnerships
with a number of governors to support initiatives aimed at addressing