CONCERNING THE IMPORTANCE OF THE DISTRIBUTION OF FOOD IN SCHOOLS TO HUNGRY OR MALNOURISHED CHILDREN AROUND THE WORLD -- (Extensions of Remarks - July 16, 2004)
HON. JERRY MORAN
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
WEDNESDAY, JULY 14, 2004
Mr. MORAN of Kansas. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of S. Con. Res. 114, a resolution that recognizes the importance of food distribution in schools and expresses gratitude to former Senators George McGovern of South Dakota and Robert Dole of Kansas for their efforts to eliminate hunger and poverty.
The McGovern-Dole International Food for Education program began in 2001 as an initiative called the Global Food for Education program. This program provided food to improve nutrition for mothers, infants, preschoolers and schoolchildren in developing countries.
During the pilot program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture donated about 800,000 metric tons of commodities, providing school meals for nearly 7 million children in 38 countries.
Because of the Global Food for Education program's success, this initiative was expanded, renamed the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education Program, and authorized by the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002. As a conferee on the Farm Bill, I am proud to have played a part in enacting the McGovern-Dole program.
Through the McGovern-Dole program, the USDA is able to distribute foods such as wheat, flour, rice, corn and other basic items. Being from Kansas, I am glad that one of my State's main crops-wheat-goes to such a noble cause.
This noble cause includes three main goals: to reduce hunger, to improve literacy and to improve primary education. Private, voluntary organizations, cooperatives, intergovernmental organizations and governments of developing countries all contribute to achieving these goals.
McGovern-Dole was launched on March 10, 2003, on the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Foreign Agricultural Service. This timing is appropriate since McGovern-Dole combines two of the USDA's broad goals: to provide food in schools and to provide foreign food assistance.
About 120 million school-aged children around the world are not enrolled in school, in part because of hunger or malnutrition. A disproportionate number of these children are girls. By supporting this resolution, we in Congress can help reaffirm the U.S. commitment to education and child development.
Supporting this resolution demonstrates support for a better future for our global society. By providing food for schoolchildren in developing countries, we can help to reduce poverty and malnounshment. We can increase the number of children attending schools. By feeding and educating children around the world, we are able to open doors for these children and give them a real chance to someday achieve their dreams.
I want to thank Senator ELIZABETH DOLE for introducing this resolution in the Senate and my colleague, Congressman JAMES MCGOVERN, for introducing it in the House. I thank these Members for recognizing the efforts of my fellow Kansan and predecessor, Bob Dole. I also thank the House International Relations Committee for their consideration of this resolution.