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McGovern-Dole program uses school meals to fight global hunger

Children in Pakistan, Liberia, Kenya and 15 other countries will soon be benefiting from school feeding grants issued by the McGovern-Dole Food for Education program.

McGovern-Dole is run by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and funds school lunch initiatives by the UN World Food Programme, Catholic Relief Services and other charities. The program is named after former Senators George McGovern and Robert Dole.

According to USDA, “this year’s allocations will feed more than 4.8 million children.”

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says, “ I am proud of the assistance we provide to the world's hungry children through the McGovern-Dole Program. This important program provides a healthy meal, often the only one they receive, for millions of children, mothers and infants in developing countries around the world each day."

Not every charity that applied for funding received a McGovern-Dole grant. Catholic Relief Services did not receive grants for its three applications for Cambodia, Cameroon and Niger. Accepted applications still need to be put into action. In the case of Save the Children, a 2009 grant for school feeding in Yemen was never implemented because it could not conclude an agreement with USDA.

Globally, there are over 300 million children suffering from hunger. Funding needs to be increased for McGovern-Dole as part of an international effort to provide feeding programs for all children.

Last year, members of Congress wrote to President Obama about expanding the McGovern-Dole program. The new Roadmap to End Global Hunger legislation also calls for increasing funding for safety net initiatives like school feeding. The Roadmap legislation is currently pending in Congress.

See the USDA press release for the complete list of McGovern-Dole 2010 grants.

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.