Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the United States will donate 11,000 tons of rice, vegetable oil, yellow peas and lentils valued at more than $21 million for projects that will help feed 390,000 children in Haiti and Afghanistan.
The food is being made available under the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, which supports education, child development and food security in low-income, food-deficit countries that are committed to universal education.
“The food provided through the McGovern-Dole program is an important part of our efforts to alleviate child hunger around the world,” Vilsack said. “The feeding programs in Haiti and Afghanistan receiving this food will lay the groundwork for future success long after funding ends.”
The program provides donations of U.S. agricultural products as well as financial and technical assistance for school feeding and maternal and child nutrition projects. Currently, the United States funds 32 active agreements with 15 sponsors in 28 countries, assisting more than 5 million beneficiaries. To date, the McGovern-Dole Program has provided meals to more than 22 million children.
The program is named in honor of former Senator George McGovern and former Senator Robert Dole for their efforts to encourage a global commitment to school feeding and child nutrition. In October of 2008, the men were recognized with the World Food Prize for their leadership in forging the link between the productivity of American farmers and the needs of hungry children around the world.
Additional information about the McGovern-Dole Program is available on the U.S. Agriculture Department’s website.