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Congress Should Expand International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program

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During World War II American soldiers witnessed the tragedy of children struggling to find food for survival. This experience had a lasting impact on many, including General Dwight Eisenhower. Ike, in a series of appeals for the United Nations in 1948, emphasized that eliminating child hunger was crucial to world peace. Eisenhower believed that children who spend their young lives struggling to find sustenance, searching through “garbage heaps” as he put it, would become “wedded to the philosophy of force.”

Today, Eisenhower’s message is still very much relevant in a world where over 300 million children suffer from hunger. The Congress can take action to help these children by expanding the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program.

The McGovern-Dole program, named after former senators Bob Dole and George McGovern, provides school lunches to children in impoverished nations. For many kids the school lunches are the only meal they receive the entire day. The school lunches encourage parents to send their kids to school instead of keeping them home to work. Take-home rations are also a component of the initiative. Charities such as CARE, Catholic Relief Services, Food for the Poor and the United Nations World Food Programme carry out the school lunch programs.

Currently, McGovern-Dole reaches about 3 million children. But many school feeding proposals by the aforementioned charities are denied because there simply is not enough funding available. A House Bill (H.R. 1616) and a Senate version (S. 946) aim to increase the yearly funding for McGovern-Dole from 100 million to 300 million over the next 5 years.

The applications of a strongly funded McGovern-Dole program are numerous. More school lunches could be provided to children in Southern Sudan, a region recovering from decades of Civil War. In 2006, the World Food Programme conducted a pilot school feeding program in North Darfur. One can imagine school lunch programs being an important part of peacekeeping and reconstruction throughout Darfur. In Afghanistan, a country struggling to build a democracy and peace after years of conflict, school lunches are vital to reconstruction. The United States, with its allies, should ensure that every child in Afghanistan can obtain school lunches and take-home rations.

For the United States, providing school lunches around the world will build much needed goodwill in this age of terrorism.

As Eisenhower noted back in 1948, “If we are serious about saying that we want to travel the road to peace….how can we attempt to say that we are traveling that road unless we do everything that lies within our power to create conditions in which peace may flourish. We must eliminate starvation – we must see that children are well nourished.”

Today, we must ask ourselves if we are doing everything we can to promote peace. If we do not vigorously combat child hunger, then the answer to that question is no. Eliminating child hunger is of paramount importance in the quest for peace.

Expanding the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition program is taking a major step in the fight against child hunger. We must hope the opportunity is not missed by those in power today.

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About William Lambers

William Lambers is the author of several books including Ending World Hunger: School Lunches for Kids Around the World. This book features over 50 interviews with officials from the UN World Food Programme and other charities discussing school feeding programs that fight child hunger. He is also the author of Nuclear Weapons, The Road to Peace: From the Disarming of the Great Lakes to the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Open Skies for Peace, The Spirit of the Marshall Plan: Taking Action Against World Hunger, School Lunches for Kids Around the World, The Roadmap to End Global Hunger, From War to Peace and the Battle of Britain. He is also a writer for the History News Service. His articles have been published by newspapers including the Cincinnati Enquirer, Des Moines Register, the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Buffalo News, San Diego Union Tribune, the Providence Journal, Free Lance-Star (VA), the Bakersfield Californian, the Washington Post, Miami Herald (FL), Chicago Sun-Times, the Patriot Ledger (MA), Charleston Sunday Gazette Mail (WV), the Cincinnati Post, Salt Lake Tribune (UT), North Adams Transcript (MA), Wichita Eagle (KS), Monterey Herald (CA), Athens Banner-Herald (GA) and the Duluth News Journal. His articles also appear on History News Network (HNN) and Think Africa Press. Mr. Lambers is a graduate of the College of Mount St. Joseph in Ohio with degrees in Liberal Arts (BA) and Organizational Leadership (MS). He is also a member of the Feeding America Blogger Council.
  • http://www.whats-thebigidea.com Jeff Friedberg

    What is this crap about feeding the world. I heard this same BS 60 years ago when I was a little kid in school donating my dimes and nickels. Know what? Not ONE %$#@!&* thing has changed. They all still hate our guts, and they always have. I know, because I was there, and the Daily Show types—you know who you are—were not. Let the world starve and go to hell or Allah—whoever. Am I making this too sweet?

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    I have to agree with you here, Jeff. Congress has a lot of domestic priorities which they aren’t following through on terribly well. They need to deal with them before they start spending money overseas.

    Dave

  • bliffle

    Jeff is wrong: grassroots ‘people to people’ programs abroad have been very successful in recruiting grass-roots support for the USA. And we can’t just let them go to hell because we are dependent on other nations, and getting more so. What has alienated people is the leader-to-leader programs that have resulted in heavy-handed crap like the Iraq invasion.

    Dave is wrong because Bush has clearly shown that no legislation is to be considered unles the whitehouse has the initiative. And Bush isn’t, apparently, interested in this program. If Bush doesn’t like a law from congress he either vetos it or hobbles it with ‘signing statements’, thus exercising complete control over congress. He treats congress like employees, not a co-equal branch of federal government.

  • moonraven

    The majority of folks in other countries do not hate folks from the US–just the US government headed by the Cross-eyed Cretin.

    Even in countries such as Venezuela, where the leaders are very anti-Bush, neither those leaders nor the people hate folks in the US. Chavez would not be providing discounted heating oil to low-income folks in the US if he hated the US people.

    Let’s not use “Anti-Americanism” as an excuse to be mean-spirited, cheap and crass when other folks are starving.

    And yes, YOU should be doing something for the very poor in the US, as well.

  • Clavos

    “Chavez would not be providing discounted heating oil to low-income folks in the US if he hated the US people.”

    Why not?

    He’d be stupid not to; it’s a brilliant move on his part: makes the US gummint which does nothing for the poor look bad, and makes him look good to the US poor (although not to the rich). I think even if he hated them, he’d be smart enough to discount their oil; it’s great PR he can afford.

    It would still be as good a way to win over the American poor as it is now, and it’s the poor who most want his largesse.

  • Zedd

    William,

    Instead of spending more money, perhaps some of the programs that are in place can be re-evaluated and funds can be channeled to such programs.

    Dave

    I have to agree with you here, Jeff. Congress has a lot of domestic priorities which they aren’t following through on terribly well. They need to deal with them before they start spending money overseas

    We will always have domestic issues and they will always be pressing.

    In a nation of such diversity, with such a large population, it is more that feasible that we would be able to focus on more than just one aspect of development. Our isolationist haze has been the most detrimental characteristic, preventing us from enjoying our top dog status to the fullest. We have reluctantly engaged with the rest of the world. That reluctance has rendered us the image of snob, bully, arrogant, ignorant, etc. We can do both, prosper within and without.

    This is a great investment into our future status as world leader. We have ceased to engage the world as we did even during the cold war. At that time we saw it as a matter of national security to be seen and to know about others, even if it wasn’t done in the best way that it could have been implemented. Our white hat status has muddied and we will have to earn the title of good will ambassadors and not just forcefully tell people that we have good intentions. As China takes a more overt stand internationally in developing nations, we will have to be more aggressive in our efforts to prove our good guy role.

  • moonraven

    Unfortunately, you are NOT good guys.

  • SFC SKI

    OK, moonraven, what has your country done that makes the US pale in comparison.

    I am not saying the US in perfect or infallible, I’d just like to here about someplace that participates in world events in a more beneficial and effective way.

  • Clavos

    INCOMMMIIIING!!!

  • SFC SKI

    When I start misspelling the easy words, it’s time to stop posting.

    Seriously, snarky comments like #7 are par for the course here, but why should I bother reading them if the commentor can’t back up what they advocate?

    I’ve been all over the US, Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, please tell me where this Utopia, that people like moonraven render judgment from, is, just so I can get without sight of it, even if I as an ugly American can never enter.

  • moonraven

    Apparently you are unaware that I am a US citizen who has not lived in the US for 15 years.

    I much prefer just about anyplace in Latin America (especially Mexico and Venezuela), as well as France and Italy.

    I am not a Utopian thinker, however, so my spots may not meet your standards….

  • SFC SKI

    I have spent the better part of 19 years outside the US, as well. I can see the attractions of an expat lifestyle, overall I’d say the pace of life is a little bit less rushed than life in the US is. You can’t sit in a cafe (if you can find a real one) in the US for 2 hours drinking the same drink and kill time without some waiter bothering you.

    I can’t comment on South America as I have never spent time there. France and Italy, very nice indeed, I wish I could spend more time there.

    So, what makes those places more preferrable to the US, and are there “good guys” there doing good things for the world as a whole?

    It’s one thing to criticize, but in criticizing, aren’t you judging one thing against another thing, or against an accepted standard? If so, and we are not the “good guys”, who might they be, and where might they reside, and what works have they acomplished that make them “good”?

  • zingzing

    have you guys noticed how the conservatives around here have had to stop saying “you hate america!” to every other liberal around here.

    why is that?

    because we have lovely moonraven, a real live america-hater. thank you, moonraven… you make this place safe for us to dislike the bad bits of america and be good americans at the same time.

    you’re like an anti-conservative. you know, how the circle meets itself up again? you see americans, and therefore they are wrong, because as a living american, they are guilty for everything that “america” (government, history, military) does. (is each and every american that powerful in your eyes?) a conservative sees a liberal, and therefore they are wrong, because as an american liberal, they are guilty of not being a conservative.

  • moonraven

    SFC:

    I have every right to criticize the folks in the US–and with whatever criteria I choose to apply.

    You folks are cheap, mean, boring, ignorant, anti-intellectual, genocidal, FAT and about a thousand more adjectives that for ME are negatives.

    I don’t have to provide good guys in order to tell you that you are NOT good guys.

    Our species has been the worst ever on the planet.

    But folks in the US are worse than folks just about anywhere else.

    If you think you are the good guys, the onus is on YOU to provide evidence for that.

    The evidence for the contrary view on this day in history is simply overwhelming.

  • Clavos

    Tried to warn ya, Sarge…

  • SFC SKI

    Yeah, I am stupid like that.

    Actually, I just wanted to have someone like moonraven lay out his position so clearly, that way I’ll know not to bother taking him seriously.

    You do have every right to criticize, but since you haven’t given me any reason to consider your opinion as either rational or informed, or any evidence that you have a better alternative at hand other than more mewling criticism, you really don’t deserve any further attention. Good luck to you in future travels.

  • zingzing

    “You folks are cheap, mean, boring, ignorant, anti-intellectual, genocidal, FAT and about a thousand more adjectives that for ME are negatives.”

    wee-ooo!

    lets see…

    cheap? sometimes. that can be true. but sometimes not.

    mean? sometimes, but it’s not wrapped up in hypocrisy… like you…

    boring? maybe. but most of us have more than one point to make, over and over and over and over. (we get it, you don’t like americans.)

    ignorant? on certain subjects, but at least i know that and am not ignorant of my own ignorance… like you…

    anti-intellectual? i have no problems with intellectuals or intellectualism. i can go there myself on a few (very few) subjects.

    genocidal? me? never. you? do you suddenly find yourself genocidal when you consider your american citizenship?

    fat? ah-ha. not i. painfully skinny, i am. i can feel all of my ribs. gross.

    so, i, as a guilty-by-birth american, do not fit your vision of the typical american. (of course, if you had said we are all liars, i wouldn’t have a leg to stand on.)

    so we are not all the same. we are a pretty diverse nation, after all. lots of different kinds of people, different kinds of ideas floating about in this land.

    if you want to paint us all with the same brush, you go right ahead and do so, moonraven. you got fucked over by an american, didn’t you? did you love him? aww… stop being so bitter about it.

  • moonraven

    I don’t need your good luck. I get paid big bucks to travel all around the planet.

    Nor do I have to “lay out my position” to you. I left the US because I prefer to live in a kinder, gentler culture.

    And moreover, I am not a HE.

  • moonraven

    Actually, I have never been “fucked over” by anyone.

    I just do not like you guys.

    Skinny or fat, ugly is ugly.

  • Paul2

    SFC SKI-

    In fact you are kind of stupid. Concerning US aid you (mis)-posted on another thread (today) concerning US foreign aid:

    “I THINK you are wrong, the US government and Americans individually give large amounts of monetary and other aid outside the US.”

    It has been discussed and evidently presented here before that by all comparisons of foreign aid the USA gives less aid then any other country. That is a FACT.

    That does make the US pale “look pale in comparison”, as you put it.

  • moonraven

    A perfect example of why you guys do not pass muster is your insistence on calling yourself Americans, when there are millions of other people in this hemisphere who are Americans.

    You just are not getting it.

  • Maurice

    Much as I would like to solve all the worlds problems I have to agree with Dave #2. We need to address a few issues here at home. Also even though we are the most powerful free nation in the world we have to be willing to let other nations and governments fail so they can mature and become like us. This is a sad lesson that I have learned in my personal life also.

  • zingzing

    “A perfect example of why you guys do not pass muster is your insistence on calling yourself Americans, when there are millions of other people in this hemisphere who are Americans.”

    ok, i’m a united stateser… an… doesn’t make any sense. it’s just a word, moonie. many words have multiple meanings. there is this thing called context which decides the particular meaning which is being implied. get it?

    “Actually, I have never been “fucked over” by anyone.
    I just do not like you guys.
    Skinny or fat, ugly is ugly.”

    wait, are you saying you don’t like men, or… people that live in the united states of america (not south or central america, or other parts of north america, other than those stated above)?

    and how, basing it on physical attributes (fat or skinny), would you know i, or any other american you talk to on this site, is ugly? and isn’t that rather subjective? based on your words around here, there is certainly an ugliness in your soul, but i wouldn’t presume to say you are ugly. you may very well be, you certainly are bitter and nasty enough, but it certainly wouldn’t be a statement i could verifiably back up.

    “I left the US because I prefer to live in a kinder, gentler culture.”

    yeah, but you took it with you, didn’t you? maybe you should try and be “kinder [and] gentler” yourself. you do realize that you’re very abrasive, don’t you?

  • SFC SKI

    Do the citizens of the countries of Central and South America call themselves Americans, or the equivalent in their native languages? The ones I have met usually call themselves citizens of whatever nation they are from. That might have something to do with Central and South America being composed of nations, as opposed to Canada and the United States being composed of states or provinces under their respective federal governments. Since the US was founded as “The United States of America” that might be why we call ourselves Americans. To my knowledge, that does not prevent anyone else in the hemisphere from calling themselves Americans, though it might cause some confusion at customs and immigration. Good thing we have passports, yours must come in handy when travelling? Is it a US passport?

  • zingzing

    ahh, damn. maybe the old bitty figured it out.

  • zingzing

    bitty? bittie… hrm. i dunno how to spell that word. never written it, i suppose.

  • Clavos

    In that context, it’s biddy, zingzing…

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    It has been discussed and evidently presented here before that by all comparisons of foreign aid the USA gives less aid then any other country. That is a FACT.

    Indeed, it has been discussed here before, and your recollection is faulty. The US gives more both in combined private and public aid than any other country.

    There are several ways in which this data is manipulated deceptively. One way is to compare only government aid, which makes the US look lacking because over half of the aid we give is from private groups. Another way is to count only direct humanitarian aid and not include economic development aid and military aid, where the US does enormously more than any other nation.

    You can get some info on US foreign aid from The Department of State.

    Dave

  • zingzing

    “In that context, it’s biddy, zingzing…”

    really? huh.

    fuck it. doesn’t matter, the old bitch fucked off either way.

    lalalala.

  • Zedd

    Maurice,

    If only we didn’t meddle in any of these countries affairs including manipulating their governance and pushing them against the wall economically.

  • Paul2

    Dave

    Another failed manipulation attempt.

    Lies don’t become true if they are repeated.

    The US has the most unsubstantial foreign development program in the world according to international assessments and criteria.

    Why do you bother, you said yourself that the USA should spend more money on domestic affairs.

  • Maurice

    Zedd

    kind of like the Star Trek prime directive….

  • Clavos

    “The US has the most unsubstantial foreign development program in the world according to international assessments and criteria.”

    That’s a plus in my book…

  • Clavos

    …But I bet we give more aid to other countries than Zimbabwe or Guatemala, for example.

    Which means we don’t, in fact, have “the most unsubstantial foreign development program in the world.”

    Care to qualify?

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Another failed manipulation attempt.

    How do I manipulate or fail when I just tell the truth and a link to back it up?

    Lies don’t become true if they are repeated.

    Yes, and the truth doesn’t cease to be the truth if you keep denying it.

    The US has the most unsubstantial foreign development program in the world according to international assessments and criteria.

    ‘unsubstantial’? I don’t even know what that means in this criteria. Perhaps you could explain it for me.

    Why do you bother, you said yourself that the USA should spend more money on domestic affairs.

    No, I actually said that the US should make domestic spending a higher priority than foreign spending.

    BTW, the US government alone spends double the money on foreign aid that the next most generous country (Japan) does. Here is a PDF with the figures for 2006. And that’s not counting private giving. Individually Americans give more than anyone else – 7 times what Germans give per capita, for example, and a lot of that money goes overseas, especially through Christian charities. Private individuals in the US gave more money to foreign charities than any foreign national government, just beating out Japan. When you count in corporate overseas charity the total exceeds government foreign aid spending and the end result is that our private ahd public spending on foreign aid added together is about four times any other country.

    Dave

  • STM

    Paul2: “The US has the most unsubstantial foreign development program in the world according to international assessments and criteria.”

    Hmm. The clue is probably in the last few words. That may well be true using that criteria, and in terms of its population, the per capita amount is down compared to some nations but it is still right up there among all the usual suspects.

    And it also gives the most money overall of any country, substantially too. Fact – check it out, mate. I suggest also you take that extra-large cucumber out of your bum and stop whingeing.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Stan, I’m not sure Paul’s all that interested in the actual facts. Maybe a tiny bit more than REMF, but basically he’s pre-programmed and chanting the team mantra.

    dave

  • Clavos

    @#16:

    And you have the gall to call Lumpy and me trolls.

    Your puerile, pitiful, poorly reasoned and poorly penned philippics on other posters speak volumes about your priorities and paucity of principles.

    Pathetic.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Are u sure you meant #16 there, Clavos?

  • Clavos

    Thanks for the heads up, Dave. I need a new pair of specs, you’re quite right; I meant #36.

    Sincere apologies, Sarge!

  • STM

    Paul needs to check his own facts. Most of what he posts here purporting to be fact is just rubbish. Opinions are fine as long as they’re not dressed up as fact.

    In this instance it’s simply a case of the emperor’s new clothes … there aren’t any.

  • bliffle

    Clavos #5:

    “it’s a brilliant move on his part: makes the US gummint which does nothing for the poor look bad, and makes him look good to the US poor”

    Well, that’s easy to beat. All Bush has to do is provide even cheaper heating oil for US citizens. Presto! Bush wins a PR victory.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    Clavos, so you’re saying that Stan called you and Lumpy trolls?

    Puzzled of Antequera.

  • Clavos

    bliffle #42:

    But, as I said, the US gummint won’t do anything for the poor, so we have to turn to handouts from guys like Chavez, God bless him.

  • Clavos

    Dear Puzzled,

    I don’t know what happened, but suspect that the pesky Comments Editor has been at play again.

    I hope he’ll be kind enough to change the reference # in my comment next.

    Baffled in Miami

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    I can’t find that remark anymore. Do you think the Comments Editor deleted it as a personal attack?

    Sunny in Spain

  • Clavos

    Probably. But I’m sure everyone will realize that my comment was in response to MCH.

    Sunnier in Florida

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    MCH is currently top of the leaderboard for most deleted comments.

  • REMF

    “I can’t find that remark anymore. Do you think the Comments Editor deleted it as a personal attack?”
    – Chris

    I was a little surprised to learn that “troll” and “stalker” are now regarded as personal attacks, considering how many times I’ve been called that. It will be interesting to see now if the new ruling applies to anyone else except myself.
    – MCH

  • sr

    I often wonder about child hunger in the US and world hunger. I love America however we are an arrogant country. We have the most overweight people on the planet while millions of people, especialy children are starving to death each day. When I watch those eating contests like shoving 66 hot dogs with bun down your mouth. Then we have oyster eating, pie shoving, cakes or whatever and kids eating out of dumpsters what the hell must they think of us. How frecking arrogant can we be or stupid. Childen are God’s greatest gift and need our help, respect, love and kindness. Maybe our great do nothing congress and senate instead of getting all their perks could take the money and give these kids a book on dumpster diving.I have no answers for this but I think they’re is a serious leak in our pipeline. I believe Mr Lambers is correct as well as Jeff, the first commenter. Off the subject a bit. Anyone heard from Jet lately. Let me know.

  • http://www.robot-of-the-week.com Christopher Rose

    MCH, I’m certain that you’re just the person to keep track of that…

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    MCH is currently top of the leaderboard for most deleted comments.

    It would be cool if there was an actual leaderboard for deleted comments which we could check periodically.

    I was a little surprised to learn that “troll” and “stalker” are now regarded as personal attacks, considering how many times I’ve been called that.

    Perhaps they are only personal attacks when they aren’t as richly deserved as they are when applied to you?

    Dave

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Who is this “we” you speak of, ego-boy?

    And let me remind you of a little history. I never said I shot and/or killed stray dogs behind my fortified compound. The feral dog I shot was in the front yard, and as I’ve pointed out, he didn’t die. I did shoot a squirrel in the back yard, but that’s a different story.

    And as I’ve said since you first brought up this ridiculous irrelevancy, I was under no obligation to serve in Desert Storm and had no interest in doing so, and that’s my right as an American. Then as now I don’t believe in military intervention as an instrument of foreign policy.

    Dave

  • Silver Surfer

    What’s going on, apart from Australia 25-South Africa 17?

    Happy in Sydney

  • Dr Dreadful

    #54: Nothing much. Took a leaf out of the Yakut Indians’ book and scurried off to the mountains to escape the 112-degree heat. Now back, gratified to see that the level of commenting on here is its usual heated, er, 112 degrees.

    In other news, a Brit won the mixed doubles at Wimbledon. :-)

    Fried in Fresno

  • sr

    Doc, you live in Fresno. Thats like being stuck in Lodi and Modesto and all those other produce producing smog laden holes in the wall. Almost feel sorry for you.

  • bliffle

    Squirrels, too, now Dave? When will the slaughter end!? Can nothing stop this killing?

  • Dr Dreadful

    #56: Why ‘almost’? Air so thick you can spread it on your breakfast toast (not that you’d want to). If you walk into a schoolroom and talk about the big blue sky the kids look at you as if you’re crazy because everyone knows the sky is brown. But we do have the only university in America with its own winery.

    #57: My guess is he got hungry and spotted a quick snack opportunity.