Month: September 2021

1,000 Days Statement on Passage of a Continuing Resolution with WIC Benefit Extension

1,000 Days is grateful for the passage of a Continuing Resolution to avoid a lapse in government funding while Congress and the White House work toward resolving a spending plan for FY22. While this stopgap funding does not include necessary increases to a number of vital priorities to improve the health and wellbeing of families in the crucial 1,000-day window, we are grateful for the three-month extension of the WIC Cash Value Benefit (CVB). The increased CVB has improved access to fresh fruits and vegetables for WIC families, leading to better diet quality and improved program satisfaction. This also brings the WIC food package in closer alignment to the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and prior recommendations from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM). We look forward to continuing to work with partners and champions in Congress to ensure that a final FY22 spending deal extends the CVB increase for the full fiscal year and meets the needs of moms, babies, and families everywhere.

Blythe Thomas
Initiative Director
1,000 Days, an initiative of FHI Solutions

1,000 Days Statement on the White House COVID-19 Summit

Bold action is needed to address the health and economic fallout from COVID-19 and build a better future. Today’s COVID-⁠19 Summit provides an opportunity to expand and enhance efforts for defeating COVID-19 and prioritizing health in the United States and worldwide. Across the world, the pandemic exacerbated existing inequalities and further weakened families’ social safety net. COVID-19 pandemic-related disruptions to food and health systems has led to a devastating rise in severe malnutrition rates around the world. In the United States, significant racial and ethnic disparities in food insecurity which existed before COVID-19 widened in households with children.

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit women and children especially hard, and policies and actions must prioritize this vulnerable group. The 1,000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s 2nd birthday offer a unique window of opportunity to build healthier and more prosperous futures. The nutrition that mothers and children receive in the 1,000-day window has a profound impact on a child’s ability to grow, learn, and thrive. This has never been more critical than now.

Good nutrition and health services must be at the heart of all COVID-19 pandemic immediate and long-term recovery plans both in the United States and globally. In the U.S., 1,000 Days calls on the U.S Government to support families by passing  comprehensive, universal paid family and medical leave, permanently authorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program and addressing Medicare coverage gaps. Programs that provided additional resources to families, including the WIC fresh fruits and vegetables Cash Value Benefit and boosted Child Tax Credit, should be extended. There should also be an investment in health equity provisions to address racial and ethnic disparities in maternal and child health outcomes.

The United States has been a long-standing champion of global nutrition programs and life-saving progress has been achieved over the past decade. But without concerted action and additional resources, the world could see a greater rise in child deaths and malnutrition than previously predicted. Increased investment, specifically allocating at least $500 million for nutrition from future COVID supplemental funding, is an immediate action that would help prevent these COVID-related deaths. In addition, we urge the U.S Government to adopt policy measures and make commitments that fully support, protect, and promote exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of life. Prioritizing the nutritional needs of women, adolescent girls and young children is essential considering the gendered impacts of the COVID pandemic on hunger and malnutrition. We also support the recommendations in the Nourish the Future proposal, sustainable solutions to deploy high-impact interventions at scale, which will not only save children today but promote long-term resilience building and reduced cases of malnutrition for years to come.

Good nutrition, particularly in the 1,000-day window, is critical to building long-term resilience to shocks and overall prosperous and healthy societies. This is a make-or-break year for nutrition and for children and families worldwide and the time to act is now.

Solianna Meaza
Director of Policy and Advocacy, 1,000 Days

Community Statement on the Importance of US Leadership During the Nutrition Year of Action

September 20, 2021

This week, the UN Food Systems Summit will serve as a historic opportunity to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and resume progress toward the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 through tangible, transformational changes to the world’s food systems. This summit is part of 2021’s year of action on nutrition culminating in the Nutrition for Growth Summit in December. These events are not separate but intrinsically and intricately interrelated. Together they have the potential for exponential impact to ensure equitable and quality nutrition. In a time of rapidly rising hunger and malnutrition due to the confluence of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and conflict, increased global attention to strengthening nutrition in inclusive, resilient food systems for the most vulnerable has never been more important.

With malnutrition rates rising dangerously around the world, we urge the U.S. Government to take bold action at the UN Food Systems Summit and commit to working with marginalized communities to end hunger and malnutrition by 2030 and sustainably strengthen local food systems. The U.S. Government must also emphasize the importance of improving nutrition for vulnerable communities, particularly mothers and children – including adolescent girls – in commitments at the UN Food Systems Summit and beyond. In particular, the first 1,000 days from pregnancy to a child’s second birthday is a critical window for strong nutrition, which, if missed, can have serious consequences for the rest of the child’s life. We strongly support breastfeeding as a child’s first food system and urge the U.S. Government to adopt policy measures and make commitments that bolster exclusive breastfeeding in a child’s first six months.  Prioritizing and expanding programs that also increase the access and availability of micronutrients for vulnerable mothers and young children is essential considering the gendered impacts of the COVID pandemic on hunger and malnutrition.

During this year of action, the UN Food Systems Summit offers a critical opportunity for the United States to be a leader in ending preventable child and maternal deaths globally, recognizing nutrition and strong food systems as critical to child and maternal survival.


1,000 Days, an initiative of FHI Solutions
Action Against Hunger
Alliance to End Hunger
American Academy of Pediatrics
Bread for the World
Catholic Relief Services
Farm Journal Foundation
Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies Consortium
Helen Keller International
John Snow, Inc. (JSI)
Save the Children
Standing Together for Nutrition Consortium
The Micronutrient Forum
Vitamin Angels

1,000 Days Statement on Ways and Means Committee Markup

On behalf of 1,000 Days, I would like to commend Chairman Richard Neal and the Ways and Means Committee on the reporting of Title A of the Build Back Better Act out of Committee this afternoon. This is an historic step towards ensuring that all workers and all families in the United States have access to comprehensive, equitable paid family and medical leave. As the past 18 months have made all too clear, paid leave is a public health imperative. At 1,000 Days, we know that access to paid leave is crucial to recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, strengthening our economy, supporting workers, improving health outcomes and reducing disparities, and building a better future for American families. We are thrilled at this significant progress and look forward to working closely with our partners and allies in Congress to secure paid leave for all.

Blythe Thomas
Initiative Director
1,000 Days, an initiative of FHI Solutions