1969 Conference on
Food, Nutrition, and Health
Part 1: Summary of Actions on Food, Nutrition,
The President addressed the White House Conference
on Food, Nutrition, and Health in December 1969. At that time, he
pledged that the leaders of the Conference would be called together
one year later to review what progress the government had made in
implementing the Conference recommendations. The President then
directed the Nutrition Subcommittee of the Urban Affairs Council
to review and evaluate the Conference recommendations, and to the
extent possible, assist government agencies in implementing them.
The Nutrition Subcommittee (now operating under the
direction of the Domestic Council) has completed a review of the
actions which the government has taken during the last year to achieve
the goals of the Conference and has prepared the following summary.
One of the basic causes of malnutrition and
hunger in the United States is poverty. Millions of Americans, of
all ages, and in all parts of the Nation, simply do not have enough
money to buy what they need to live healthy, productive lives.
The Administration has advanced significant and
comprehensive proposals to deal with the basic problem of poverty.
The strategy is simple and direct: increase the buying power of poor
Americans so that they can buy more food and other essentials. These
Administration proposals include:
- The Family Assistance
Plan. The Family Assistance Plan is a basic reform of the
Nation's welfare system. It would provide cash assistance to all
poor families with children, and for the first time would provide
Federal aid for millions of Americans where the father works full
time. Over twenty-four million Americans would be eligible for
benefits under the Family Assistance Plan.
- The Food Stamp Program.
The Administration has proposed and implemented far-reaching legislative
and administrative reforms in the Food Stamp Program to increase
the food purchasing power of poor families. These are described
more fully below.
- Social Security.
The Administration has proposed that Social Security payments,
which now reach over twenty-six million Americans, be raised automatically
with the cost of living. This reform would greatly lessen the
painful delays which beneficiaries suffer as they wait to have
their payments raised to keep pace with rising prices. The President
signed a bill which increased Social Security benefits 15 percent
effective January 1, 1970, and supports an additional increase
of 5 percent for the year aheadas a first step in restoring
lost purchasing power for Social Security beneficiaries.
- Tax Reform. The
1969 Tax Reform Act provides a low-income allowance which materially
increases the real incomes of many poor Americans. Over six million
people with incomes below the poverty level are now freed from
paying Federal income taxes. An additional eight million people,
with incomes slightly higher than the poverty level, now have
reduced tax burdens.
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