The World Food Program USA is urging the Senate to increase funding for the McGovern-Dole Food for Education program. McGovern-Dole provides funding for school meals in developing countries.
The World Food Programme (WFP), Catholic Relief Services, and other aid agencies apply for McGovern-Dole funding to combat the global child hunger epidemic. Most applications though are rejected by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) because there is just not enough money assigned in the budget.
The funding level in recent years for McGovern-Dole has ranged between $100-200 million annually. This is not anywhere near the demand. WFP USA reports that in fiscal year 2009, there were nearly 50 applications requesting $700 million in funding.
For the coming year, the funding level for McGovern-Dole has to be determined by the Congress. A House of Representatives panel has approved $266.5 million, while the Senate only approved $209.5 million.
WFP USA wants citizens to ask their Senator to support the $266.5 million approved by the House. When it comes to foreign policy expenditures, this is a relatively small dollar amount.
Millions of children in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan, Sudan and other countries need school meals to fight hunger. The food serves as an incentive for their parents to send the children to school. This is a valuable safety net for impoverished families. In areas recovering from conflict or natural disaster, school meals form a vital part of the foundation for recovery.
The message has to be loud and clear to the Senate. There needs to be a greater emphasis on child feeding in U.S. foreign policy. This is essential for leading a worldwide response to fight child hunger and promote development. It can start with a funding increase for the McGovern-Dole school lunch program.
You can take action at the WFP USA site.
Ending Child Hunger: School Lunches for Kids Around the World