Biden Bits: Bringing People Together…

Biden Tweets Logo. Image by Lenny Ghoul.

President Biden’s Public Schedule for Wednesday, September 28th 2022:

8:00 AMThe President receives the President’s Daily Briefing
9:00 AMIn-Town Pool Call Time
9:30 AMThe President departs the White House en route the Ronald Reagan Building
10:00 AMThe President delivers remarks at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health
10:50 AMThe President arrives at the White House
11:00 AMThe President and The First Lady deliver remarks to celebrate the Americans with Disabilities Act and mark Disability Pride Month
12:30 PMPress Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre
James S. Brady Press Briefing Room
1:15 PMThe President receives a briefing from his senior economic team on global economic developments
6:00 PMThe President departs the White House
7:00 PMThe President participates in a Democratic Governors Association reception
8:00 PMThe President arrives at the White House

The White House posted the following fact-sheet; The Biden-⁠Harris Administration Announces More Than $8 Billion in New Commitments as Part of Call to Action for White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health

Today, for the first time in more than half a century, President Biden is hosting the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health to catalyze action for the millions of Americans struggling with food insecurity and diet-related diseases like diabetes, obesity, and hypertension. The Conference will lay out a transformational vision for ending hunger and reducing diet-related disease by 2030 – all while closing disparities among the communities that are impacted most.

Achieving our goals will require more than just the resources of the federal government. That’s why, this summer, the White House launched a nationwide call to action to meet the ambitious goals laid out by the President. Across the whole of society, Americans responded – and advanced more than $8 billion in private- and public-sector commitments. These range from bold philanthropic contributions and in-kind donations to community-based organizations, to catalytic investments in new businesses and new ways of screening for and integrating nutrition into health care delivery. At least $2.5 billion will be invested in start-up companies that are pioneering solutions to hunger and food insecurity. Over $4 billion will be dedicated toward philanthropy that improves access to nutritious food, promotes healthy choices, and increases physical activity.

Today, the White House announces a historic package of new actions that business, civic, academic, and philanthropic leaders will take to end hunger and to reduce diet-related disease.

White House.gov. 09/28/2022.

Pillar 1 – Improve Food Access and Affordability

  • AARP: AARP and AARP Foundation will expand research on older adults’ access to SNAP and use this research to improve SNAP enrollment rates for older adults, which still lag behind other populations. By 2024, AARP will additionally complete new research to identify the key characteristics of non-participating yet eligible older adults and the key drivers of low SNAP enrollment, which it will share widely to inform policy, advocacy, and on-the-ground efforts to boost awareness and enrollment among older adults.
     
  • BENEFITS DATA TRUST: National nonprofit Benefits Data Trust will leverage technology to improve access to public benefits, including by publishing a new toolkit in early 2023 to help states and higher education institutions identify and enroll eligible college students in public benefit programs like SNAP, Medicaid, and the new Affordable Connectivity Program, the FCC’s broadband benefit program to help low-income households access the internet. Benefits Data Trust’s toolkit will be the first in a series it develops to help eligible students enroll in public benefits.
     
  • BOWERY: Bowery, an indoor vertical farming company, commits to forging new partnerships with hunger-relief organizations and expanding local produce donations by thousands of pounds. By 2023, Bowery will open new farms in Texas and Georgia and donate hundreds of pounds in fresh produce to the Tarrant Area Food Bank – serving Fort Worth, Arlington, and Dallas – and to the Atlanta Community Food Bank. This fall, Bowery will also launch a new partnership with East Brooklyn Mutual Aid to donate and distribute fresh produce across East Brooklyn. Finally, the company will expand its partnership with DC Central Kitchen’s Healthy Corners program to provide a new line of salad kits at a significant discount to 53 corner stores in DC’s Wards 7 and 8 that currently lack access to healthy food options. In total, in 2023 Bowery commits to donating over 10,000 pounds of produce through both these partnerships and additional existing donation efforts in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.
     
  • CHOBANI: Chobani will launch a national corporate responsibility initiative – Food Access in Reach (F.A.I.R.) – to encourage businesses of all sizes to “adopt-a-school” and pledge to make it food- and nutrition-secure. As part of this initiative, businesses including Chobani will pledge to help schools meet child nutrition standards, and pay their employees at least a $15/hour minimum wage to reduce hunger within their own ranks. Chobani itself will adopt 3 schools (in Twin Falls, ID; Central New York; and New York City) in 2023, with a goal for businesses and partners across the country to have adopted at least 50 schools by 2030.
     
  • DOORDASH: DoorDash will partner with 18 cities – Mesa and Tucson in Arizona; Oakland and Riverside in California; Paterson and Camden City in New Jersey; Albany, Mt. Vernon, and Rochester in New York; Columbus, Ohio; Tacoma, Washington; Denver, Colorado; Hartford, Connecticut; Tampa, Florida; Atlanta, Georgia; Baltimore, Maryland; Pawtucket, Rhode Island; and Richmond, Virginia – to combat hunger by addressing transportation barriers to accessing healthy food. The company will provide targeted support through: $1 million in DoorDash Community Credits, which community-based organizations can use to provide free food delivery; access to Project DASH on the DoorDash logistics platform, which food banks, food pantries, and other charitable organizations can use to power charitable food delivery; and direct funding of in-kind charitable food deliveries through the platform.
     
  • FOODCORPS: Over the next 8 years, national nonprofit FoodCorps will invest $250 million to increase access to free and nourishing school meals and to expand hands-on nutrition education in schools. Through this Nourishing Futures initiative, FoodCorps aims to reach 500,000 students by 2030. Additionally, the organization commits to training 1,000 emerging leaders of color for careers in school nutrition services to improve the diversity of school-based nutrition professionals and support culturally relevant meals and menus.
     
  • FMI – THE FOOD INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION: FMI – The Food Industry Association will mobilize its membership to donate 2 billion meals in 2023 to food banks and other anti-hunger organizations; make it easier to use SNAP and WIC benefits online and in retail settings; and promote consumer education on healthy foods – committing to reach a minimum of 100 million consumers each year from 2023 to 2030. Across each of these initiatives, FMI commits to internal benchmarking and annual reporting to ensure consistent progress.
     
  • GOOGLE: Google will launch new product features to help Americans access public food benefits and health care services. Google Search will facilitate SNAP enrollment by making it easier for users to find detailed and locally-specific information on how to check their eligibility and apply for SNAP benefits. Google will also update its search experience to enable Americans already enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid to find and schedule health care appointments directly within the Google Search tool. Finally, YouTube is launching a Personal Stories feature for sharing personal experiences on specific health topics.
     
  • HUNGER FREE OKLAHOMA: Nonprofit organization Hunger Free Oklahoma will increase access to fresh produce by expanding its SNAP incentive program from 19 to all 77 counties in Oklahoma by 2030. This expanded program will serve 10 times the number of SNAP households it does now, ultimately reaching 100,000 households total per month. Hunger Free Oklahoma will also collaborate with Tribal Nations, state government, and the private sector to develop a new, coordinated WIC outreach and enrollment effort, with a commitment to increase WIC participation to 80 percent across the state – for a total of 125,000 women, infants, and children served.  
     
  • HY-VEE, INC: The supermarket chain Hy-Vee, Inc. will deliver 30 million meals to vulnerable communities by 2025. The company will also deploy its in-store dietitians to educate 100,000 Americans in areas of low food access on healthy eating and nutrition by 2026.
     
  • NATIONAL GROCERS ASSOCIATION (NGA): Over the next two years, the National Grocers Association will expand access to full-service grocery stores – grocery stores that stock and sell fresh produce, meat, and dairy, in addition to processed and packaged goods – across the country. It will double the number of retailers offering SNAP Online, prioritizing rural areas and areas with low food access, such as agricultural communities. NGA will also build a toolkit to support its members expanding full-service grocery stores into USDA-designated food deserts. 
     
  • NATIONAL HEAD START ASSOCIATION (NHSA): The National Head Start Association commits to improving the health, nutrition, and economic security of young children and their families. Over the next three years, it will facilitate Head Start enrollment for roughly 100,000 children through the Department of Health & Human Service’s new SNAP eligibility pathway. Through this new pathway, NHSA will target technical assistance to programs serving populations and areas with the highest rates of food insecurity, and help state Head Start State Associations and Head Start State Collaboration Offices establish partnerships with SNAP offices to boost local enrollment. Separately, NHSA will launch a three-year research partnership with Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy to conduct a national assessment of nutrition concerns for 3,000 Head Start Teachers to better understand the challenges early childhood teachers face.
     
  • NAYAK FARMS: Nayak Farms, a 200-acre farm in Illinois, will work to combat food-insecurity in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Iowa. This includes donating over 1,000,000 pounds of sweet corn to food-insecure families in those four states by 2026; donating 50,000 pounds of green beans to food-insecure families in 2023 and 2024; and championing local and state policies that can support farmers in combating food insecurity. 
     
  • NOVO NORDISK: Pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk will invest $20 million over the next three years in at least 6 new locally-led initiatives that improve access to healthy foods and safe spaces for physical activity in marginalized communities. The company will also expand its place-based projects into five additional states to address upstream barriers to reducing the burden of chronic disease, including obesity and diabetes. These projects range from building greater demand for locally sourced, healthy produce in the Mississippi Delta to improving nutrition literacy among medical students and patients of Federally Qualified Health Centers in Arizona.   
     
  • PUBLIX: Publix commits to donating $3.85 million to 22 Feeding America food banks to establish free, mobile food pantries for stocking local fruits and vegetables. It will provide these mobile pantries with at least 500,000 pounds each of produce in their first year of operation. In 2023, it will also host a national hunger summit with Feeding America food bank partners, and run its Feeding More Together register campaign, which is expected to generate up to $10 million in in-kind donations.
     
  • RETHINK FOOD: Rethink Food, a national nonprofit that seeks to bridge the gap between food that goes to waste and food-insecure communities, will rescue at least 2 million pounds of excess food each year for the next 5 years, and divert it from restaurants to food-insecure communities. By 2027, ReThink Food pledges to divert 10 million pounds of excess food, four times its current annual rate. Rethink Food additionally commits to providing 10 million high-quality meals over the next 5 years to individuals and communities facing food hardship, by leveraging its network of restaurants, chefs, and other partners. Finally, the organization will invest over $10 million to support the capacity of local restaurants that are minority- or women-owned.
     
  • SHIPT: In 2023, Shipt will launch an accelerator to improve access to capital and technical assistance for local retailers seeking e-commerce capabilities – at least 50 percent of which will be in the food, beverage, and grocery categories. Shipt will prioritize businesses owned by people of color and LGBTQI+ people with a goal of assisting at least 10 local retailers in its first year and 30 in its first three years, all of which will receive a $5,000 stipend. Shipt will also launch two new product features in 2023 – facilitating healthy food selection for diet-specific meal planning and extending the option to accept SNAP/EBT benefits to all eligible retailers on its platform. 
     
  • SYSCO: Sysco will provide $500 million through its Global Good initiative over the next five years to improve healthy eating for the communities it serves. By FY2025, this contribution will include: a donation of 200 million meals to national hunger-related charities and local food banks to increase access to healthy foods, valued at approximately $400 million; cash donations of about $50 million to hunger-relief organizations; and another $50 million of employee volunteer time. The company is also committed to improving good agricultural practices for fresh produce and leading innovative ideas to source sustainable products in a climate-responsible way – including by constructing indoor farms in local communities.
     
  • THE WAVE FOUNDATION: The Wave Foundation will publicly launch and expand an Equity and Climate marketplace to connect underrepresented food producers – people of color and women – with large-scale food service and retail outlets nationwide. The goal of the marketplace will be to build a more just, resilient, and self-sustainable food system.
     
  • UNIDOSUS: By 2030, Latino civil rights organization UnidosUS commits to doubling the reach of its Comprando Rico y Sano (Buying Healthy and Flavorful Foods) program, which works to reduce food insecurity among Latino Americans through culturally relevant nutrition education and enrollment assistance in federal food benefits. To do this, UnidosUS will expand the program to 25 additional community-based organizations across the United States and Puerto Rico – training 1,880 new community health workers, providing nutrition education to 84,000 more people, and facilitating SNAP enrollment for roughly 232,000 more members of the Latino community.
     
  • UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SYSTEM: By 2030, the University of California System will cut in half the proportion of its 280,000-person student body facing food insecurity – reducing the reported rate among undergraduates from 44% to 22% and among graduate students from 26% to 13%. To achieve this goal, the University will work with local counties to maximize student SNAP enrollment, provide food for students who do not qualify for CalFresh – the California implementation of SNAP – yet still struggle with food access, and allocate additional campus food resources to historically underserved student populations.
     
  • WARNER BROS. DISCOVERY (WBD): Warner Bros. Discovery will provide 600 million meals to children who are food-insecure between now and September 2023 through its “Turn Up! Fight Hunger” initiative, a partnership with No Kid Hungry. Food Network (a WBD brand) will also continue to highlight healthy programming and recipes on its channels. Warner Bros. Television Group will educate its creative leaders on food insecurity – encouraging storylines that center hunger, nutrition, and health topics.
     
  • WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH: Washington State’s Department of Health will launch an online ordering pilot for WIC that, for the first time, enables WIC participants statewide to both purchase and select pick-up or delivery of their WIC foods online. The Department will also roll out a new program that enables WIC participants to spend their monthly fruit and vegetable cash value benefit at farmers’ markets, in addition to traditional grocery stores. This change alone will make approximately $10 million of WIC cash value benefits available for redemption at Washington farmers’ markets in 2023. At the same time, the Department commits to transitioning its fruit and vegetable prescriptions next year from a paper voucher to a card-based system to allow more small businesses and grocers to access the program and to reduce transportation barriers for program participants.

Pillar 2 – Integrate Nutrition and Health

  • AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS: By 2030, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the anti-hunger nonprofit Share Our Strength commit to offering training to all 67,000 AAP member pediatricians on both screening for nutrition insecurity and referring patients to federal and community nutrition resources. AAP will also evaluate its training by tracking its members’ comfort discussing food insecurity, members’ screening rates for nutrition insecurity, and the outcomes of pediatrician referrals.
     
  • AMERICAN COLLEGE OF LIFESTYLE MEDICINE (ACLM): ACLM will make an in-kind donation of $24.1 million to improve nutrition training for medical professionals. Specifically, ACLM will donate 5.5 hours of Continuing Medical Education course credits on nutrition and “food is medicine” topics to 100,000 health care providers located in regions with high rates of diet-related disease. ACLM will also coordinate with the American Board of Lifestyle Medicine to cover half the cost of lifestyle medicine training and certification for 1,400 primary care providers – one from each Federally Qualified Health Center across the nation.
     
  • ASSOCIATION OF AMERICAN MEDICAL COLLEGES (AAMC) and ACCREDITATION COUNCIL FOR GRADUATE MEDICAL EDUCATION (ACGME): AAMC and ACGME commit to organizing and hosting the first-ever Medical Education Summit on Nutrition in Practice in March 2023. This national initiative will convene 150 medical education leaders – across medical schools, residency training, and continuing education programs – to identify, discuss, and determine the best strategies for integrating nutrition and food insecurity into medical education curricula, with a focus on interprofessional care and health equity.
     
  • BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF NORTH CAROLINA FOUNDATION: This fall, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation will launch a two-year, $3.5 million effort to increase access to healthy food and grow the “food is medicine” movement in North Carolina. It will fund and facilitate partnerships between health care providers and community-based organizations, which will in turn provide a range of free or subsidized services – from food vouchers to medically-tailored meals. The Foundation will also evaluate the interventions provided to determine where they are most impactful. 
     
  • BOSTON MEDICAL CENTER (BMC): Boston Medical Center, the largest safety-net provider in New England, will build farms at two new facilities in 2023 to supply fresh, local produce to hospitalized patients, facility cafeterias, and its prescription-based food pantry, where primary care doctors can refer their patients for free, healthy food. Among its own patient population, BMC also commits to close the “SNAP Gap,” the gap between those eligible and actively enrolled in SNAP, by expanding screening for food insecurity and streamlining Medicaid and SNAP enrollment in its primary care offices. Finally, BMC has invested in a local, minority-owned, healthy food market that will open this fall alongside a affordable housing development in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, which is expected to increase the availability of healthy, affordable food in a historically marginalized community.
     
  • COMMUNITY SERVINGS: Community Servings, a regional nonprofit organization, will provide 10 million medically tailored, home-delivered meals to individuals and families experiencing nutrition insecurity and chronic illness in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It will co-lead the national Food is Medicine Coalition’s Accelerator program to incubate 15 new medically tailored home-delivered meals programs in states that are unserved or underserved by existing programs. It will additionally expand a workforce development training program for individuals experiencing barriers to employment, so that they are trained in food service production, and provide resources to help trainees subsequently receive employment in the food service industry.
     
  • FOODSMART: Foodsmart is a “food is medicine” company that integrates dietary assessments and nutritional counseling with online food ordering services. Over the next five years, Foodsmart will provide no-cost training and secure employment for over 10,000 nutrition professionals of color by building partnerships with universities, online continuing education companies, and accreditation bodies.
     
  • MASS GENERAL BRIGHAM: The nonprofit integrated health care system Mass General Brigham will build two state-of-the-art teaching kitchens to increase access to fresh, healthy food by delivering “food is medicine” programs, healthy meals, nutrition screening and counseling, and healthy cooking classes to local communities. It will also invest $6.35 million to build the capacity of 7 community-based organizations to reduce food insecurity, promote nutrition equity, and administer “food is medicine” programs and medically tailored meals in Massachusetts. Mass General Brigham also commits to expanding screening for food insecurity and maximizing SNAP and WIC enrollment among its patient population.
     
  • MEDICAL EDUCATION PLEDGE: Several leading health sector organizations – the National Medical Association, National Hispanic Medical Association, Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health, National Dental Association, Case Western University’s School of Dental Medicine, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, Children’s Oral Health Institute, National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, Society of American Indian Dentists, and the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy – have all signed a pledge committing to take several new actions to strengthen health professionals’ education in nutrition. Specifically, by 2024, these organizations will: fortify nutrition education as one of the foundational competencies for professional training in all health-related fields; incorporate the use of therapeutic lifestyle interventions in curricula and training on chronic disease; ensure that professional training programs include at least one educator with formal training in nutrition science; increase the number and credit value of nutrition continuing education units and maintenance of certification credits for all specialties; and ensure that hunger, nutrition, and lifestyle topics comprise at least 5 percent of board certification exam questions for both primary and subspecialty professional training programs.
     
  • NEMOURS CHILDREN’S HEALTH: Nemours Children’s Health, a multi-state pediatric health system, will expand access to donation programs and educational tools to reduce food insecurity and health disparities. The health system will develop and disseminate a comprehensive Social Determinants of Health Implementation Guide, which will help other health systems detect and address social determinants of health (SDoH) like food security; scale its existing SDoH screening tool to new specialty clinics in Delaware and to all its primary care clinics in Florida; create and disseminate at least 10 articles in English and Spanish on primary prevention related to nutrition and food; and expand partnerships with two Delaware-based food security initiatives: Nemours Cares Closets – which stocks primary care practices with personal hygiene items, clothes, and non-perishable food items – and the Backpack program, which provides children access to nutritious meals outside of school hours.
     
  • SYNC FOR SOCIAL NEEDS: The Sync for Social Needs coalition will unite leading health technology companies and health systems, including the Department of Veterans Affairs, to standardize the sharing of patient data on social determinants of health, including food insecurity. Members commit to collectively evaluate and pilot the integration of specific social screening tools in electronic medical record systems. In addition, the leading health care standards-setting bodies will commit to working with participants to scale these approaches to further lower clinician burden to screen for social needs. Coalition members include: the National Quality Forum, the National Committee for Quality Assurance, the Joint Commission, HL7 International, Epic, Oracle-Cerner, Rush University System for Health, Tufts Medicine, Riverside Health System, SCAN Health Plan, Sanford Health, SSM Health, Higi, BayCare, Geisinger, Meditech, FindHelp, Wellsky, UniteUs, Graphite Health, Saffron Labs, and XanthosHealth.
     
  • DOHMEN COMPANY FOUNDATION: Dohmen Company Foundation will invest $75 million over the next seven years to design and operationalize three initiatives that promote “food is medicine” and reduce the morbidity of diet-related disease. The Foundation will launch: Food For Health, a new Wisconsin public charity that will provide fresh medically tailored meals, people-centered health coaching, and nutrition education to economically disadvantaged populations; The Food Benefit Company, a mission-oriented social enterprise that will contract with companies to provide employees with nutrition coaching, biometric screening, and fresh food delivery; and a nationwide public awareness campaign to promote healthier food choices, which the Foundation will fund through a $10 million matching grant challenge.
     
  • UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA SCHOOL OF MEDICINE GREENVILLE: The University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville will make a $4.8 million in-kind donation to help implement its open-source Lifestyle Medicine curriculum in all interested medical schools. It will also provide guidance to the National Board of Medical Examiners, the primary organization assessing competency of medical providers, on adding questions and content related to lifestyle medicine. Finally, the school will provide 637 health systems and 755 YMCA associations with consulting and free access to its Exercise is Medicine Greenville toolkit, a comprehensive, 12-week program for using exercise to mitigate risk for chronic diet-related diseases.
     
  • WELLORY: Wellory, a startup with a mission “to make nutrition care the norm,” will provide free, 1:1 nutrition counseling to up to 10 million uninsured Americans by 2030. This is the first time that Wellory will open its telehealth services to Americans who lack insurance coverage. This commitment amounts to a $300 million in-kind donation over the next 8 years.

Pillar 3 – Empower Consumers to Make and Have Access to Healthy Choices

  • ACTION FOR HEALTHY KIDS: Action for Healthy Kids will partner with 50 school districts over the next 5 years to help schools design, implement, and evaluate programming for their students and staff on healthy eating, physical activity, and mental health. Through this initiative, Action for Healthy Kids commits to reaching 1,200 schools, 150,000 parents and caregivers, and 5 million children in vulnerable communities.
     
  • ALBERTSONS COMPANIES: In 2023, Albertsons Companies, through its Foundation’s Nourishing Neighbors program, will help 50,000 eligible community members enroll in SNAP and WIC benefits. By 2024, Albertsons will communicate 50 million evidence-based suggestions for improving nutrition to its online customers. And by 2025, the company will introduce 1,000 new nutritious recipes and launch 6 health campaigns incorporating both in-store and digital components to increase awareness of federal nutrition guidelines. In Washington, D.C., Albertsons will also collaborate with Hunger Free America to sponsor a series of local community service projects on nutrition education and access to SNAP and WIC benefits, beginning with two events the week of the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. 
     
  • DANONE: Danone North America will invest $22 million over 7 years to support at least 300 million Americans to build healthier dietary habits. The company commits to prioritizing new reduced-sugar, low-sugar, and no-added-sugar options in its children’s products – pledging that 95 percent of these products will fall below 10 grams of total sugar per 100 grams of food product by 2030. Danone also commits to investing $15 million over the next 7 years to partner with retailers and educate consumers, shoppers, and health care providers to drive evidence-based healthy eating behaviors and diet-related health outcomes. It also commits $7 million to innovate and evaluate scalable community-based impact programs to improve access to nutritious foods, and advance nutrition research on the links between food, the human microbiome, health, and chronic disease.
     
  • DOLE PACKAGED FOODS and THE BOYS & GIRLS CLUB OF CENTRAL MISSISSIPPI, SODEXO STOP HUNGER FOUNDATION, and the PARTNERSHIP FOR A HEALTHIER AMERICA: Dole Packaged Foods and the Boys & Girls Club of Central Mississippi, with support from the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation and Partnership for a Healthier America, commit a minimum of $212,500 to launch a 12-month pilot program this fall to increase access to fruits and vegetables for as many as 24,000 families in Jackson, Mississippi. Dole will deliver nutritional education materials and refrigerated kiosks of food to local Boys & Girls Clubs chapters – amounting to at least two servings of fresh produce per day per child served – which will in turn distribute them to families in need. Dole intends to scale this pilot to reach 3 million children and 5,000 Boys & Girls Clubs chapters by 2030.
     
  • ENVIRONMENTAL WORKING GROUP, the JAMES BEARD FOUNDATION, the PLANT BASED FOODS ASSOCIATION, the INDEPENDENT RESTAURANT COALITION, and CHEF ANDREW ZIMMERN: Chef Andrew Zimmern will work with the Environmental Working Group, the James Beard Foundation, the Plant Based Foods Association, and the Independent Restaurant Coalition to encourage chefs, restaurant owners, and operators to offer at least one plant-based or vegetarian option on their dinner menus. The Environmental Working Group will track and report progress on a quarterly basis.
     
  • EVERYTABLE: Mission-driven food startup Everytable will invest $100 million over the next three years to help low-income entrepreneurs become Everytable store owners – providing financial capital, training, and mentorship to aspiring small business owners across the country, at least half of whom will be in low-food-access areas. Everytable will also re-launch its Pay It Forward program, which enables customers to purchase meals-for-donation that will be delivered to local non-profits serving community members in need. Finally, the company will expand its medically-tailored meals program, currently offered only in Los Angeles County, across the country – at the same time as expanding its menu to include more diet-specific and more dietician-approved items for individuals with diet-related disease.
     
  • FOOD, NUTRITION, and HEALTH INVESTOR COALITION: S2G Ventures and Food Systems for the Future will launch the Food, Nutrition, and Health Investor Coalition to catalyze $2.5 billion in private investment over the next three years into startup companies pioneering new ways of addressing food insecurity and improving nutrition and health outcomes through food. These investments will be used to bring novel, mission-oriented companies into the world as well as to support the scaling of proven technologies for reducing hunger and improving individual and population health.
     
  • Hispanic Communications Network (HCN): Hispanic Communications Network commits to creating and disseminating new content through its two multimedia networks – La Red Hispana and LatinEQUIS – encompassing more than 240 affiliated radio, television, and digital media networks to raise awareness of nutrition, healthy eating, and physical activity among Latinos in the United States. By 2030, HCN will: create new landing pages on its La Red Hispana and LatinEQUIS websites, to provide culturally and linguistically competent messaging, content, and resources on nutrition and physical activity; develop and disseminate radio content, including “edu-tainment” segments and calls to action, that emphasizes the importance of healthy eating and physical activity; and produce culturally relevant segments within its weekly long-format radio/television programming to promote healthy eating – for instance, on how to make diets more nutritious using traditional foods and recipes. HCN is the largest producer and syndicator of health programming and multimedia content that is for Latino Americans, by Latino Americans; through this commitment, it pledges to reach an audience of 6 million with culturally appropriate nutrition- and exercise-related content in the United States.
     
  • INSTACART: Instacart will launch a major new health and nutrition initiative – comprising new products, new partnerships, and new services – to improve food security and integrate nutrition more effectively with health care. Instacart will: work with USDA to incorporate SNAP and TANF into its online platform – aiming to expand these benefits to all 650+ grocery partners by 2030; launch 23 new diet-specific tags to its platform to help customers identify foods that are vegan, low-sugar, or compliant with other nutritional requirements; launch a new feature that allows health care providers, caregivers, and nutritionists to create actionable, shoppable lists for disease-specific diets; and launch a new stipend technology, Fresh Funds, that enables any organization – from an employer to a health system – to allot their employees and patients stipends to purchase fresh, nutritious foods on Instacart’s platform.  
     
  • KINDERCARE LEARNING COMPANIES (KLC): KLC, an early childhood education and child care provider, will invest a minimum of $150,000 over the next three years to: improve its food procurement and delivery processes, so that at least double the current number of fresh vegetable servings are available to the children it serves; develop and pilot a food insecurity screening tool among its own employees; and strengthen its nutrition education curriculum to reach more children and their families.
     
  • MEIJER: The Midwest supercenter chain Meijer will offer a rolling set of automatic dollar-off and percentage-off discounts – from $5 to $10 and 5% to 10%, respectively – on SNAP purchases of qualifying fruits and vegetables. It will also provide coupons to its SNAP customers to take similar discounts off future purchases of qualifying fruits and vegetables. The 2018 Farm Bill allows SNAP-authorized stores like Meijer to seek a USDA waiver to provide SNAP participants incentives for purchasing healthier food items – like fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and whole grains – consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Having just received USDA approval, starting this fall, Meijer commits to offering this incentive at all 499 of its SNAP-authorized brick-and-mortar locations, setting an example for its industry.
     
  • NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHAIN DRUG STORES: The National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) will undertake a nationwide public education campaign to communicate the importance of nutritional health and preventive screenings to improve outcomes for diet-related disease. NACDS will also partner with at least two national patient advocacy organizations to develop and distribute educational resources on nutrition and diet-related disease to community pharmacies, in addition to hosting at least two sessions on diet-related disease at NACDS meetings in 2023.
     
  • NATIONAL RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION: The National Restaurant Association will expand its Kids Live Well (KLW) program to 45,000 additional restaurants and food service locations as well as create educational resources for restaurants to support healthier food options. KLW is a voluntary initiative to help restaurants craft healthier kids’ meal options that meet added sugar, sodium, saturated and trans fat, and calorie thresholds established by the latest nutrition science. The KLW standards also include a requirement that kids’ meals come with water, milk, or juice, instead of soda. The National Restaurant Association will: quadruple KLW’s reach by adding new restaurant chains – with commitments already secured from Subway, Burger King, Buffalo Wild Wings, Chipotle, Golden Corral, First Watch, and Silver Diner; expand KLW to food service outlets managed by Compass Group, operating in hundreds of museums, airports, and sporting arenas; promote the KLW program to its member restaurants, including by launching a KLW resources library that incorporates healthy recipe swaps and a recipe book with pre-certified recipes; develop a new healthy dining database for parents featuring KLW-approved meals from participating restaurant brands; create a nutrition education and training module for workforce programs; and launch a communications campaign and educational toolkit to promote healthier options on children’s menus.
     
  • TYSON FOODS: Over the next 7 years, Tyson Foods will invest $255 million into anti-hunger charities to expand access to nutritious protein products, with a focus on rural and underserved areas. It will commit an additional $20 million to provide evidence-based nutrition learning programs for children and their families in the over 100 communities where Tyson operates. In addition, Tyson commits to reformulating and improving the nutritional value of its prepared foods portfolio, with a focus on reducing sodium.
     
  • WALGREENS: By 2030, Walgreens commits to increasing the selection of fresh food in its stores by 20% to include a greater variety of fresh produce and other healthy choices, on top of existing dairy and shelf-stable packaged fruits and meats. It will work in partnership with local distributors and prioritize underserved communities. In addition, Walgreens commits to implementing new solutions to highlight healthy ingredients and further reduce harmful ones, while eliminating non-compliant items across the portfolio.

Pillar 4 – Support Physical Activity for All

  • COMMUNITY GYMS COALITION: The Community Gyms Coalition will leverage its 15,000 partner gyms – including Anytime Fitness, CrossFit, Orangetheory Fitness, and Planet Fitness – to launch a nationwide Fitness is Essential campaign. Through this campaign, the Community Gyms Coalition will add new resources and signage on nutrition and healthy eating for its facilities; encourage member gyms to extend free day passes to interested members of the community and provide one million free, half-hour health and fitness consultations by 2025; and offer free public access to its brands’ nutrition and physical fitness tracking apps.
     
  • MYFITNESSPAL: By 2030, the healthy living smartphone application MyFitnessPal will provide free, premium-level membership to its nutrition and fitness app to at least 1 million Americans nationwide at-risk for diet-related disease, so that they have the chance to track their diet, enhance their fitness, and learn how to improve their nutrition and overall health. MyFitnessPal will work with community health organizations and Federally Qualified Health Centers to identify, reach, and enroll at-risk populations. It will also develop a new educational content series on making healthy choices and finding opportunities to stay physically active, even while on a budget.  
     
  • NATIONAL RECREATION AND PARK ASSOCIATION (NRPA): The National Recreation and Park Association will provide training and $5.5 million in funding to park and recreation departments in over 175 historically disinvested communities to support delivery of healthy food and promotion of physical activity, as well as mental and physical health programming. Through this effort, NRPA commits to serving 25 million meals at park and recreation sites, and to providing $5.5 million in grant funding to promote access to programming and infrastructure that increases physical activity and improves mental health for 1.2 million community members by 2026.  
     
  • SPECIAL OLYMPICS: Special Olympics will launch a new, multi-part initiative to expand fitness, nutrition counseling, health coaching, and SNAP-Ed benefits for people with intellectual disabilities. In 2023, Special Olympics will invest in research to demonstrate the utility and cost-effectiveness of nutritional assessment tools for people with intellectual disabilities. It will also develop and disseminate two best practice toolkits on inclusive health coaching and SNAP-Ed models to promote evidence-based nutrition education and obesity prevention methods for people with intellectual disabilities. By 2030, Special Olympics commits additionally to training 5,000 fitness professionals on inclusive fitness methods and to providing inclusive fitness curricula to at least 1,500 physical education, physical therapy, and public health trainees.
     
  • YMCA: By 2030, YMCA commits to serving more than 140 million meals to kids in need, teaching more than 5 million children and youth to swim, delivering sports programming to 6 million youth, and providing safe and healthy play environments to more than 4 million preschool children. By 2025, with the support of the National Park Service, YMCA commits to giving 24,000 youth across 15 under-resourced communities their first National Park and day camp experience. And in 2023, with the support of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, YMCA commits to expanding its evidence-based health programs – such as the Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program, which teaches adults how to self-monitor their blood pressure; EnhanceFitness, which provides physical activity to support adults with arthritis management; and the Diabetes Prevention Program, which provides small-group lifestyle nutrition coaching on healthy eating and physical activity to those with prediabetes – to 45 new communities across the country.    

Pillar 5 – Enhance Nutrition and Food Security Research

  • CHILDREN’S HEALTHWATCH: By 2030, the nonprofit Children’s HealthWatch will raise $1.9 million to advance research and deepen understanding of available interventions for lifting families with young kids out of poverty, including funding and conducting three new studies focused on alleviating food insecurity for low-income families.
     
  • GROW LOCAL: Food technology company Grow Local and its in-home aquatic gardening subsidiary AquaTree will invest $500 million over the next five years to launch a national public-private partnership that will: facilitate scientific research on nutrition and healthy habit formation; partner with health systems to maintain more intensive nutritional care for patients coming home from the hospital, and to provide nutrition education and guidance services for kids after school; implement a K-12 digital platform that provides nutritional education, food advocacy, and entrepreneurial skills to thousands of schools; and organize an annual Tech, Education, Health, Nutrition, and Sustainability (TEHNS) Summit to bridge silos between the health care, education, food, and technology communities and promote healthier eating for all.
     
  • INTERNATIONAL FRESH PRODUCE ASSOCIATION: The International Fresh Produce Association will launch a new public database in 2023 called Produce in the Public Interest to house and disseminate research about national fruit and vegetable consumption with a focus on identifying and mitigating barriers to improving eating habits. It will also produce and distribute resources to improve nutrition literacy, and facilitate a public-private partnership between the Partnership for a Healthier America and the states of Indianapolis and Denver to double residents’ consumption of fruits and vegetables by 2030.  
     
  • ROCKEFELLER FOUNDATION and the AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION: Launching in spring of 2023, the Rockefeller Foundation and the American Heart Association, with inaugural partners including Kroger, plan to mobilize $250 million to build a national Food is Medicine Research Initiative. This research initiative will generate the tools and definitive evidence necessary to help the health sector design and scale “food is medicine” programs to improve both health and health equity and reduce overall health care costs. Alongside patients and leaders in government, academia, health care, industry, and community-based organizations, this initiative will accelerate public understanding and use of “food is medicine” programs as an integral part of the health care system. 
     
  • SEAFOOD NUTRITION PARTNERSHIP: The Seafood Nutrition Partnership will commit a minimum of $280,000 over the next 8 years to improve public knowledge of essential nutrition that has been shown to improve brain health. It will: launch an Eating for Brain Health Program to educate moms on the nutrients required to reduce pre-term birth risk and foster healthy early brain development; and conduct research to measure and map Omega-3 EPA and DHA deficiencies across the country to prioritize the roll-out of its education programs to the areas of greatest need.
     
  • UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS SCHOOL OF LAW JOURNAL OF FOOD AND LAW POLICY: The University of Arkansas School of Law will focus the Spring 2023 issue of its Journal of Food and Law Policy on hunger, nutrition, and health.

Each of these commitments demonstrates the tremendous impact that is possible when all sectors of society come together in service of a common goal. The Biden-Harris Administration looks forward to working with all of these extraordinary leaders and to the many more that will come forward to end hunger and reduce diet-related disease by 2030.

White House.gov. 09/28/2022

President Biden’s remarks at the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health.

President Biden and the First Lady’s remarks to celebrate the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Press Briefing.

When Tuesday’s post was posted, President Biden had tweeted 1 time. He added 7 tweets giving him a Tuesday Tweeting Total of 8 tweets and 0 retweets.

The YouTube is 23 minutes and 13 seconds long. President Biden begins his remarks at the 3 minute and 23 second mark. His full remarks can be found here.

President Biden: (13:23) And this morning, we got more even good news about lowering costs.  The Department of Health and Human Services announced that the premium for Part B will, in fact, decrease this [upcoming] year.  That’s a fee you pay — (applause) — that’s a fee you pay for Medicare to cover your visits to your doctor. For years, that fee has gone upNow, for the first time in more than a decade, it’s going to go down.  And millions of seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare, that means more money in their pockets while still getting the care they need.

President Biden: (13:54) And on top of that, if you have Medicare’s prescription drug coverage Part D, you pay for your prescriptions more than — you pay — you pay for your prescriptions, more of your shots will also be free.  We’re getting rid of the cost of the prescriptions and bringing them way down. 

On Tuesday the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS.gov) announced; the 2023 premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance amounts for the Medicare Part A and Part B programs, and the 2023 Medicare Part D income-related monthly adjustment amounts.

Medicare Part B Premium and Deductible

Medicare Part B covers physician services, outpatient hospital services, certain home health services, durable medical equipment, and certain other medical and health services not covered by Medicare Part A. 

Each year the Medicare Part B premium, deductible, and coinsurance rates are determined according to the Social Security Act. The standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B enrollees will be $164.90 for 2023, a decrease of $5.20 from $170.10 in 2022. The annual deductible for all Medicare Part B beneficiaries is $226 in 2023, a decrease of $7 from the annual deductible of $233 in 2022.

The 2022 premium included a contingency margin to cover projected Part B spending for a new drug, Aduhelm. Lower-than-projected spending on both Aduhelm and other Part B items and services resulted in much larger reserves in the Part B account of the Supplementary Medical Insurance (SMI) Trust Fund, which can be used to limit future Part B premium increases. The decrease in the 2023 Part B premium aligns with the CMS recommendation in a May 2022 report that excess SMI reserves be passed along to people with Medicare Part B coverage.

Beginning in 2023, certain Medicare enrollees who are 36 months post kidney transplant, and therefore are no longer eligible for full Medicare coverage, can elect to continue Part B coverage of immunosuppressive drugs by paying a premium. For 2023, the immunosuppressive drug premium is $97.10.

CMS.gov. 09/27/2022.

Medicare Part A Premium and Deductible

Medicare Part A covers inpatient hospital, skilled nursing facility, hospice, inpatient rehabilitation, and some home health care services. About 99 percent of Medicare beneficiaries do not have a Part A premium since they have at least 40 quarters of Medicare-covered employment.

The Medicare Part A inpatient hospital deductible that beneficiaries pay if admitted to the hospital will be $1,600 in 2023, an increase of $44 from $1,556 in 2022. The Part A inpatient hospital deductible covers beneficiaries’ share of costs for the first 60 days of Medicare-covered inpatient hospital care in a benefit period. In 2023, beneficiaries must pay a coinsurance amount of $400 per day for the 61st through 90th day of a hospitalization ($389 in 2022) in a benefit period and $800 per day for lifetime reserve days ($778 in 2022). For beneficiaries in skilled nursing facilities, the daily coinsurance for days 21 through 100 of extended care services in a benefit period will be $200.00 in 2023 ($194.50 in 2022).

CMS.gov. 09/27/2022.

President Biden: (18:41) Now, I wish I could say Republicans supported this prog- — progress and reducing healthcare costs and strengthening Medicare.  That would be good for all of America.

President Biden: (19:05) And sadly, it goes even further: 158 House Republicans have already signed a Republican budget that will cut Medicare and Social Security.  I know you think I’m probably exaggerating that, but there’s a pamphlet — a pamphlet: “12 Point Plan to Rescue America” by Senator Scott of Florida.  Okay?

It is an 11-point plan, not 12 points of dumb. As I said on Monday, Lady Snark was kind enough to cover the 11-point plan back in February.

I’ve attempted to locate a source for the 158 Republicans claim and I found some things, but the only mention I’ve found of “158” is from Speaker of the House Democrat Nancy Pelosi’s statement after the R’s announced their “Commitment to America” plan (still not a plan as Lady Snark showed us on Saturday).

When extreme MAGA House Republicans say they want to “save and strengthen” Medicare and Social Security, they mean cut them.  Don’t take it from us:

  • Last year, the 158 House Republican Members of the Republican Study Committee said that “Social Security, and the federal health care programs are the main drivers of our bleak fiscal outlook.” 
  • This year’s Republican Study Committee’s FY2023 Budget openly calls for slashing and privatizing Social Security, raising the retirement age to 70 and ending Medicare as we know it.

President Biden: (0:11) Well, welcome to the White House — (applause) — the 2021 World Champion Atlanta Braves!  (Applause.) 

President Biden: (4:23) At any rate — but the franchise never quit.  It never gave inYou rebuilt the whole outfield practically overnight.  Play by play, inning by inning, you grinded and you ground it out, and you did it together. You made the playoffs and beat the Brav- — the Brewers and the Dodgers.  And then you beat the Astros to win it all. *Forever known as the “Upset Kings of October.”  (Applause.) One of the greatest — one of history’s greatest turnarounds. First title in 26 years.

*Forever known as the “Upset Kings of Octobers” comes in the video after “one of the history’s greatest turnarounds. First title in 26 years.”*

Brave’s Chairman Terry McGuirk: (9:15) And so, finally, Mr. President, we have a very young and very talented roster, and we hope this isn’t a one-and-done visit to your home.  (Laughter.)  In short, we plan to be back.  (Applause.) 

This pair of tweets was posted just after he tweeted out a live feed for his remarks. I decided to separate them from the other tweets.

On Saturday, September 24th 2022 President Biden approved Florida’s Emergency Declaration:

Today, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. declared that an emergency exists in the State of Florida and ordered Federal assistance to supplement State, tribal, and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from Tropical Storm Ian beginning on September 23, 2022, and continuing. 
 
The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in the counties of Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Desoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, and St. Lucie and the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida and the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
 
Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.  Emergency protective measures (Category B), including direct Federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program will be provided at 75 percent Federal funding. 
 
Deanne Criswell, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Thomas J. McCool as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected areas. 
 
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION MEDIA SHOULD CONTACT THE FEMA NEWS DESK AT (202) 646-3272 OR FEMA-NEWS-DESK@FEMA.DHS.GOV.

White House.gov. 09/24/2022.

The White House posted the following readout of the call on Tuesday:

President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. held separate calls today with Mayor Jane Castor of Tampa, Mayor Ken Welch of St. Petersburg, and Mayor Frank Hibbard of Clearwater to discuss preparations for the potential impacts from Hurricane Ian. Hurricane Ian is expected to make landfall on the Gulf Coast of Florida as a Major Hurricane as soon as Thursday morning. The President spoke with the Mayors about the potential impacts of Ian and ongoing efforts Federal, State and local governments are taking to pre-position resources and continue to initiate evacuation operations, including the resources made available through the Federal Emergency Declaration President Biden approved over the weekend. President Biden said that he has directed FEMA Administrator Criswell to ensure that all available federal support is surged to prepare in advance and to respond in the aftermath of the storm to augment state and local emergency response efforts, and emphasized the importance of encouraging families to heed evacuation orders.

White House.gov. 09/27/2022.

From his remarks on Tuesday (4:29):

But before turning to the topic I want to discuss today — I hope you’ll indulge me — I want to talk a little bit about the people — the crisis people are facing in Florida right now.

Hurricane Ian made landfall in Cuba this morning as a Category 3 storm.  Florida is now preparing for the — the hurricane to make landfall.

Forecasts can change, but for now, the experts say this could be a very severe hurricane — life threatening and devastating in its impact. 

So I want to be clear about two main messages.

First, my administration is on alert and in action to help the people of Florida.

I’ve approved Florida’s request for emergency assistance immediately upon receiving it from the governor when I received it.  And I directed my team to surge federal assistance there before the storm hit.

FEMA has already deployed 700 personnel to Florida, and the Governor has activated 5,000 state National Guard, with another 2,000 Guard coming from other states.

FEMA is also proposing — (applause) — and prepositioning 3.5 million liters of water, 3.7 million meals, and hundreds of generators.

I just spoke this morning with the areas that’ll likely be hit — the mayors of Tampa, St. Pete’s, and Clearwater. All of them — all of them are in the storm’s path.  And they’re focused on the safety of their communities, and they’re doing everything they can to get people out of harm’s way.

I told each one of them in my conversations, separately: Whatever they need — I mean this sincerely — whatever they need, contact me directly.  And they know how to do that.  I have a lot of personnel down there already.  We’re here to support them in every way we can.

Second thing I’d like is mention is the citizens in the potential impact area should obey the instructions of local officials.  Evacuate when ordered, and be prepared for the — what it’s — for the storm when it comes.  And evacuations have already been called for.  And I — apparently, they’re going along fairly orderly — in a fairly, orderly way in each of the three cities.  Your safety is more important than anything.

And I know our hearts are with everyone who will feel the effects of this storm.  And we’ll be with you every step of the way.  We’re not going away.

And as we prepare for Ian’s landfall in Florida, I remain focused — (coughs) — excuse me — on helping Puerto Rico recover from the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona.

Hundreds of FEMA and federal personnel are now there, including search and rescue teams, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for power restoration, and other experts from around the country.

FEMA has already distributed $40 million in direct assistance to survivors to help them begin to rebuild their homes.  And FEMA also is providing $700 in direct assistance to families displaced from their homes to meet critical needs of food, first aid, prescriptions, and baby food, and fuel now.

And imme- — I immediately approved the ex- — the expedited major disaster declaration to provide individual and public assistance — on public assistance to help their communities recover as well.

This declaration will get federal resources out quickly and help people start to rebuild their lives.  They’ve been through a rough period since the last hurricane.

And as part of the declaration, I’ve also authorized 100 percent federal funding for debris clearage, and rescue pi- –for power and water restoration, shelter and food for the entire month.

And to the people of Puerto Rico who are still reeling from Hurricane Maria five years later: We are with you, and we’re moving forward with you, and we’re not going to go home until it all gets done.

White House.gov. 09/27/2022.

As of this morning:

The White House posted the following fact-sheet: The Biden Administration’s Preparation for Hurricane Ian

As Hurricane Ian approaches Florida, President Biden has directed the heads of Federal agencies across the government to surge all available resources to the region in preparation for potential impacts and to support response and recovery efforts in the aftermath of the storm.

Yesterday, the President held calls with Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, Mayor Jane Castor of Tampa, Mayor Ken Welch of St. Petersburg, and Mayor Frank Hibbard of Clearwater to discuss preparations for the potential impacts from Hurricane Ian. In the last week, FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell has held calls with Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, Governor Henry McMaster of South Carolina, and Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia, and she visited Florida on Monday, September 26.

On Saturday, September 24, President Biden approved an Emergency Declaration for the State of Florida within hours of receiving the request from Governor DeSantis, to support preparedness efforts and ensure resources are pre-positioned in advance of potential storm impacts.

At President Biden’s direction, FEMA is coordinating across the Federal government to support State and local preparations. And, the President and the Administration urge everyone to follow the guidance of local officials.

White House.gov. 09/28/2022.

Pre-staging equipment and resources across the region in advance of landfall:

  • The Administration pre-staged 110,000 gallons of fuel and 18,000 pounds of propane for immediate deployment and personnel and equipment to support distribution.
     
  • The Administration moved in a variety of generators of all sizes and types and pre-positioned assessment and installation teams–to provide temporary emergency power to critical infrastructure. 
     
  • The Administration is staging 3.7 million meals and 3.5 million liters of water in Alabama.
     
  • The Administration has 300 ambulances already in the state working side by side with local officials.

Pre-positioning Federal responders to support emergency response:

  • As of September 28, there are more than 1,300 Federal response workers on the ground in Florida to support emergency preparations including operations, planning, power restoration, debris removal, and urban search and rescue.
     
  • FEMA Regional Administrator Gracia Szczech has been embedded in the State of Florida to ensure needs are being met.
     
  • FEMA has established a Federal search and rescue coordination group, including FEMA Urban Search and Rescue personnel and search and rescue personnel from multiple additional Federal departments and agencies, including the U.S. Coast Guard, the Department of Defense, the Department of the Interior, and the State of Florida. These teams are on the ground and ready to deploy search and rescue efforts by sea, air, and land as soon as they are needed.
     
  • The Army Corps of Engineers has pre-staged 300 personnel to support power and fuel assessments as soon as the storm passes. The Administration is in close coordination with local power companies. Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy, and Tampa Electric have 30,000 personnel ready to assist in power restoration. Thousands more are being made available through utility sector mutual aid agreements with neighboring utilities in other states.
     
  • The Department of Health and Human Services has deployed a 38-person disaster medical assistance team to Miami, Florida. Two additional disaster medical assistance teams have been deployed to Robin Air Force Base in Georgia. They have also deployed 15-person incident management team, two 15-person health and medical task force teams and 4 pharmacists to Atlanta, Georgia. More staff is anticipated in the next 24 hours.

Hurricane Ian hit Cuba knocking out power to everyone; Reuters reported this morning that Cuba has slowly started to restore power.

Cuba had slowly begun to restore power across the eastern end of the island, the state electricity provider said early on Wednesday, after Hurricane Ian caused the country’s grid to collapse, turning off the lights for more than 11 million people.

Cuba’s already frail grid, largely dependent on antiquated, Soviet-era oil-fired generation plants, had been faltering for months ahead of the storm. But officials said Hurricane Ian had proven too much, knocking out power even in far eastern Cuba, which was largely unaffected by the storm.

By early morning Wednesday, officials said some power had been restored to the areas with the least storm damage.

Reuters. 09/28/2022.

Walt Disney World will be closed today and tomorrow.

I pray for everyone’s safety both in the path and in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.

President Biden has tweeted 1 time so far for Wednesday.

Tweet text was taken from his remarks posted above.

President Biden: (11:55) Look, after years of Big Pharma blocking it, Medicare will finally get the power to negotiate lower prescription drug pricesSeniors will see their out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs be limited — as this comes into full force — to $2,000 a year.  (Applause.)  No senior will have to pay more than — on Medicare — pay more than $2,000 for all their prescriptions, whether it’s cancer drugs or anything else.

President Biden: (12:51) Now the maximum they’re going to have to pay for all their prescription drugs — no matter what the cost — is $2,000 a year.  Period.  (Applause.)  And it’s going to be a godsend.  It’s going to be a godsend to many families.

This is an Open Thread.

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About Tiff 2054 Articles
Member of the Free Press who is politically homeless and a political junkie.