Former Sen. Bob Dole Honored by World Food Program USA
By Fito Moreno
Last week, World Food Program USA honored former Sen. Bob Dole with the newly renamed McGovern-Dole Leadership Award (formerly the George McGovern Leadership Award). The name was changed to reflect the decades of bipartisan anti-hunger work led by Dole, a Kansas Republican, and the late Sen. George McGovern, a Democrat from South Dakota.
Together, the two men had a huge impact on nearly every U.S. program designed to help feed poor children—including the expansion of the National School Lunch Program, which feeds more than 31 million children, and the creation of Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). They also worked to strengthen school meals and nutrition programs internationally: The McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program has provided meals to more than 22 million children in 41 countries.
This award recognizes work that has contributed to progress in the fight against hunger, a fight that has helped reduce hunger globally by as much as 17 percent since the 1990-92 period. Sens. Dole and McGovern were able to contribute greatly to the eradication of hunger because of the bipartisan support they cultivated in Congress. They were able to put partisan politics aside, and work toward helping the most vulnerable, not because it would win them votes, but because it was–and is–the right thing to do.
It seems almost inconceivable that such a partnership could occur today, but although Congress is working slower, and running into more roadblocks than in the past, it is still working. The Congressional Budget Agreement is a step in the right direction. Although it is worrisome that the bill doesn’t include provisions to extend emergency unemployment rates, it does take steps to end the sequester, and hopefully will allow Congress to focus on other issues, such as working together to end hunger.
Fito Moreno is Bread for the World’s media relations specialist.
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