The Friends of the UN World Food Program Urges Senate to Provide Mandatory Funding for McGovern-Dole Global School Lunch Program

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Mandatory Funding Increase for McGovern-Dole Global School Lunch Program at Risk as Senate prepares Farm Bill.

The Friends of the UN World Food Program is urging the Senate to provide mandatory increased funding for the McGovern-Dole Food for Education program. This program provides school lunches to children in impoverished countries like Afghanistan, Kenya, and Guatemala. The school lunch programs are valuable to developing countries because they help nourish children and increase attendance at school. Organizations such as the UN World Food Programme, Food for the Poor, CARE and Catholic Relief Services carry out the school lunch initiatives in various countries. However, most applications by these charities are denied because there is simply not enough funding given by the Congress to McGovern-Dole.

This summer the House included mandatory increased funding for McGovern-Dole in its version of the Farm Bill, raising it from 100 million to 300 million over the next 5 years. The Senate is being urged to follow the House lead.

The Friends of the UN World Food Program is asking citizens to contact their Senators about the importance of mandatory funding for McGovern-Dole. Without mandatory funding school lunch programs are at risk for being cut off.

For more information please visit See also the article "Ending Child Hunger Crucial to Peace in Iraq, Afghanistan and many other nations" at (

The Senate also has an opportunity with the upcoming Farm Bill to expand the Food for Progress program.

Food for Progress supports countries trying to build free enterprise systems. This is not a well-known program but it does help charities such as FINCA (Foundation for International Community Assistance).

FINCA gives loans to low-income individuals in impoverished countries so that they may start their own businesses. Food for Progress donates wheat to FINCA, who then sells the food within nations like Uganda and Zambia. The proceeds from the sales are used to help fund the village bank loans.

Catholic Relief Services has just applied for Food for Progress funding to institute a project that would include building roads in Afghanistan. It is critical to connect all sectors of a developing economy, particularly farmers and markets. The food can potentially be used as an incentive to Afghans constructing the roads.

But many charities who apply for Food for Progress commodities are denied. According to Ellen Levinson of the Alliance for Food Aid, "Many poor, developing countries are undergoing economic reform and, therefore, the demand for Food for Progress programs is great." Levinson says citizens need to contact their Senators about the importance of Food for Progress.

According to author William Lambers, both McGovern-Dole and Food for Progress are in keeping with the spirit of the Marshall Plan, in which America helped rebuild Europe after World War II. Food aid to Europe was critical to securing a foundation for rebuilding its devastated economy. Secretary of State George Marshall noted that "Food is the very basis of all reconstruction. Hunger and insecurity are the worst enemies of peace." Marshall also stated that "We can act for our own good by acting for the world's good." Programs like McGovern-Dole and Food for Progress carry on the theme emphasized by Marshall.

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