Skip to main content


Connecting Faith and Community Leaders So Everyone Has a Place at the Table

A couple of weeks ago I joined two exciting events: the National Council of La Raza's (NCLR)  Convention, here in our nation's capital, and the White House Connecting for the Common Good Conference in Denver.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack led the NCLR Town Hall on nutrition and spoke of the need to find partners in every community to tackle the problems of hunger and access to nutritious food. Latinos are the hungriest demographic group in our country: one out of four Latinos has difficulty putting food on the table, and two out of five children live in homes that struggle with hunger. Secretary Vilsack referred to USDA's approach to community engagement with La Mesa Completa/The Complete Table, an initiative to ensure that Latinos have access to federal nutrition assistance and a place at the table to discuss ways to promote healthier communities. He emphasized that it is in our nation's interest to address the issue of nutrition because it is about healthcare, about economic security, and about our national security. "It is an issue that goes to the heart of the morality of this country," he said.

Partnering with the National Council of LaRaza on Good Nutrition

As Deputy Administrator for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), I was honored to join our partner, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), community leaders, families and a representative from the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative at a press briefing to promote promising practices and policies that can help turn the tide on child hunger and obesity and improve access to nutritious foods for Hispanic children and their families.  The press briefing took place the day after USDA’s release of the 2009 Household Food Security Report in the United States.   NCLR’s press conference was an effort to draw attention to the fastest growing and youngest population across the United States who have difficulty putting healthy meals on the table, due to inadequate access to nutritious food.  Hispanic children are among those at greatest risk for overweight and obesity and, at the same time, are the most likely to be living with hunger.  Both obesity and hunger have serious implications for children’s health and well-being -- all of which are  priorities of the Obama administration.