Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will provide $183 million in U.S. agricultural commodities and support to benefit an estimated 2.7 million children in 10 developing countries as part of the McGovern-Dole Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program. Vilsack made the announcement while speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City.
"The McGovern-Dole program doesn't just feed hungry children, it invests in their future potential," said Vilsack. "Supporting healthy families and improving access to education helps to combat the root causes of poverty and fosters sustainable economic growth in developing nations."
Through the McGovern-Dole Program, USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) works with private voluntary organizations and foreign governments worldwide to reduce hunger, and improve literacy and primary education, especially for girls. By providing school meals, teacher training and related support, McGovern-Dole projects help boost school enrollment and academic performance. At the same time, the program focuses on improving children's health and learning capacity before they enter school by offering nutrition programs for pregnant and nursing women, infants and preschoolers.