The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is receiving US $81 million dollars worth of food from the McGovern-Dole school lunch initiative. McGovern-Dole, run by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), awards grants to WFP and other organizations to provide school meals in developing countries.
The program is named after former senators George McGovern and Bob Dole. The countries to benefit from the new grants are Kenya, Cambodia, Liberia and Malawi.
WFP’s Washington Director, Jon Brause, says, “This gift comes at a critical time for WFP’s school meals activities. With this generous support from USDA, we can continue giving children in developing countries greater opportunities to thrive as adults.”
WFP says 3.9 million children will be receiving meals as a result of the grants. The school meals fight child hunger and encourage class attendance with the incentive of food. In many countries, children and their families struggle to get even one meal a day.
Congress will be deciding future funding for the McGovern-Dole program in the upcoming Farm Bill legislation. The sequester cuts from earlier in the year already reduced funding for this year's grants.
WFP provides school meals all around the globe in countries afflicted by poverty, war or natural disasters. With relief missions in Syria, Haiti, Afghanistan and numerous other countries WFP is under constant strain to provide aid. The UN food agency relies on voluntary funding from governments and the public.