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Global School Lunch Program Before Senate

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This is an update to an article I posted during July about the McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program. McGovern-Dole is an effort to build a global school lunch program with the United States leading the way.

There is a tremendous need for these school lunch programs. Worldwide there are 300 million children who suffer from hunger. Supporting school lunch programs helps reduce child hunger, promotes education and provides a foundation for progress and reconstruction in impoverished countries. In these nations the meals provide an incentive for parents to send their kids to school.

The United Nations World Food Programme has operated school lunch programs in countries where children are at great risk such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Kenya, Sudan, and many others. There are numerous examples of vital school lunch programs that are in need of support. In Kenya, for instance, the World Food Programme partners with a Netherlands-based charity called ChildsLife International to distribute meals at the Stara School. According to ChildsLife, “At the Stara School, more than 500 children – most of whom have no parents and a number of whom are suffering from AIDS – attend daily classes in math, reading, writing and other subjects. Located in the largest slum in Nairobi, the school also provides children with medication and two meals a day.”

The McGovern-Dole program is currently before the Senate as part of the 2007 Farm Bill. The issue at hand is whether mandatory funding will be provided. This would increase the yearly budget for McGovern-Dole from 100 million to 300 million over the next five years. It would also demonstrate U.S. leadership in fighting child hunger around the world.

Without mandatory funding it will be far less certain whether charities like Catholic Relief Services, CARE, Food for the Poor, and the World Food Programme will be able to carry out school lunch programs in impoverished countries.

The House approved the mandatory funding in its version of the Farm Bill. Now it is up to the Senate to follow the House lead. The Friends of the UN World Food Program, a non-profit agency dedicated to raising awareness about hunger, is urging citizens to contact their senators about providing mandatory funding for McGovern-Dole.

The Farm Bill is expected to be voted on later this fall.

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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.
  • Maurice

    I am all for helping disadvantaged people. My only complaint is when I see the abuse of these kinds of programs. I live in a very affluent neighborhood and yet many of my neighbors take advantage of the free school lunch program. Which now also includes free breakfast!

    I do believe this administration has already spent enough money and should consider itself overextended.

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