Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger

Bread Members Cultivate Growth at World Food Prize Event

Photo: Each October, anti-hunger advocates gather at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates in Des Moines, Iowa, for a special award ceremony established by Nobel Prize Laureate Norman Borlaug. Bread for the World President David Beckmann received the World Food Prize in 2010 for his advocacy work. (Bill Kuhn)

It was mid-October 2009, harvest season. Harry Hinrichs organized what he hoped would be an annual gathering to introduce fellow Iowans to Bread for the World. Several dozen community members met at Harry’s home and heard from Dave Miner, then chair of Bread for the World’s board of directors.

The following year, the gathering gained special significance when David Beckmann, Bread for the World’s president, became a corecipient of the 2010 World Food Prize. The late Norman Borlaug founded the award—now presented each October in Des Moines, Iowa—with funds from his Nobel Peace Prize for boosting agricultural productivity in developing countries.

In late October of this year, hundreds from agribusiness, academia, government, and nonprofits converged on Des Moines for the annual World Food Prize and the events that surround it. The annual Bread for the World gathering there welcomed a guest list that has grown tenfold.

Event advisory committee member Loree Miles is a longtime marketing executive who manages a Des Moines-based company that franchises extended-stay hotels. She was new to the event—and to Bread for the World. A strong proponent of healthy, locally grown food, Loree is known in her circle of friends for delivering baskets of produce from her backyard garden.

And it was her friends who drew her to the Bread for the World event. "We have several friends who’ve served on the advisory committee," she says. "These are pretty extraordinary people who take philanthropy and service seriously. So you take notice when they are all involved in the same cause."

This year's Bread for the World event in Des Moines took place in the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates. There, nearly 200 business and community leaders gathered for a presentation by Beckmann on progress in the fight to reduce global hunger. Among the guests were Congressmen Tom Latham and Leonard Boswell of the Iowa delegation. Kim Reynolds, Iowa's lieutenant governor, was also in attendance.

Attendees—many like Loree who were new to Bread and our mission—heard how we have made a difference for those who struggle with hunger. Loree says she enjoyed learning more about Bread for the World's fight to end hunger in God's world. She was especially moved to hear Sarai Schnucker Rice, who directs the Des Moines Religious Council, talk about hungry families in Des Moines.

"My feeling is that there is just no reason, no excuse for that," she says. Loree expresses pride that the event drew such a great turnout and raised $40,000. One of the many event guests who were energized and inspired by what they learned at World Food Prize Headquarters, she is eager to take action. Her next step was a visit to Bread’s website, where she and her husband David will sign up for updates on issues and actions to take on behalf of hungry people.

This piece originally appeared in Bread for the World's December 2012 newsletter.


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