From: The Honorable James P. McGovern
Sent By:

Date: 3/31/2017

Support FY 2018 Funding for McGovern-Dole International Food for Education Program

** This is a programmatic request for FY 2018 Agricultural Appropriations **

Monday, April 3rd


“Eliminating the McGovern-Dole program would have a disastrous effect on the planet’s most vulnerable children. Without a reliable source of
nutrition, these children face a lifetime of stunted physical and mental development and unrealized opportunity. This global school meals program remains one of the proudest achievements of my lifetime. It embodies the very best of America’s values. Saving
this program means saving lives. It’s as simple as that.”
~Former Senator Robert Dole, March 20, 2017 – Washington Post~
Current Signatories: Jim McGovern,
Lynn Jenkins, Pramila Jayapal, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Julia Brownley, Stacey Plaskett, John Conyers, Jr., Peter Welch, G. K. Butterfield,
Roger Marshall, Yvette Clarke (NY), Barbara Lee (CA), Donald Beyer Jr., Sean Patrick Maloney (NY), Sander Levin, Raúl Grijalva, Beto O’Rourke, Maxine Waters, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Michelle Lujan Grisham, Frederica Wilson (FL), Gwen
Moore, Ro Khanna, Filemon Vela, John Garamendi, Dwight Evans, Alma Adams, Danny K. Davis (IL), Bonnie Watson Coleman, Mark DeSaulnier, Collin Peterson
Dear Colleague,
            We ask you to join us in asking for robust funding for the George McGovern – Robert Dole Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program (McGovern-Dole) in the
Fiscal Year 2018 Agriculture Appropriations Act.  As you might know, President Trump’s budget recommends eliminating the McGovern-Dole program.  At a minimum, we ask that the program receive the same level of funding as in FY 2016, or what it may receive
in the pending FY 2017 appropriations bill, whichever is greater.
            The McGovern-Dole Program provides U.S. agricultural products, as well as financial and technical assistance for school feeding and maternal and child nutrition
projects in low income, food-deficit countries that are committed to universal education. The McGovern-Dole program provides school-age children in poverty-stricken countries with what is often their only full meal of the day, and helps protect vulnerable
children and their families, especially during societal shocks.
            Serving food at school helps solve chronic hunger and can be life-changing for the world’s poorest children. School meals also help get students into the classroom,
giving them an important key to a better future: an education. In areas where enrollment rates for girls are low, McGovern-Dole supported programs work with families and communities to make it possible for more girls to attend school, including giving girls
take-home rations that encourage families to send daughters to school and also benefit younger children at home.  It is estimated that school feeding programs result in a 46% increase in school attendance by girls.
            We would like to bring to your attention a March 20th article in the Washington Post that describes the program and its global impact.  The link also contains
graphics and maps that might be of interest to you:
            In addition, you might like to review the July 2016 USDA report on the FY 2012 – FY 2014 McGovern-Dole projects that describes the many direct and related
benefits of America’s signature international school feeding program:
            Congress established the bipartisan-supported McGovern-Dole program in 2002, and a series of reports and evaluations, including some by the General Accountability
Office (GAO), have resulted in marked improvements in program implementation, monitoring and evaluation over the past 15 years.   We hope that you will join us in asking that it receive continued funding in FY 2018.
            To join the letter, please contact Cindy Buhl (McGovern) at or Adam York (Jenkins) at
Deadline to sign onto the letter is COB, Monday, April 3rd.
            James P. McGovern                                                               Lynn Jenkins
            Member of Congress                                                              Member of Congress
Dear Chairman Aderholt and Ranking Member Bishop,
            As you determine funding priorities for the Fiscal Year 2018 Agriculture, Rural Development, FDA and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, we respectfully request
that you provide robust funding for the George McGovern-Robert Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
            McGovern-Dole is a global school feeding program that promotes education, child development and food security for some of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable
children.  It provides donations of U.S. agricultural commodities and financial and technical assistance for school feeding and maternal and child nutrition projects in low-income countries.  Over the years it has proven to be one of our most effective international
poverty-focused development programs, having reached over 44 million children in 40 countries. Since the time that Congress established this program, it has been rigorously evaluated, including by the General Accountability Office, and made significant improvements
over the years in program implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
            With over 400 million children suffering from chronic hunger and over 130 million not attending school, reaching those who could benefit from the McGovern-Dole
Program requires a firm commitment to continued support and significant resources.  For just a few cents a day, McGovern-Dole has made a difference in the lives of children and communities, promoted American values in the most positive terms, and helped achieve
U.S. foreign policy and national security goals.  Its flexibility and ability to be tailored to local needs ensure that American products, commodities, and financial and technical support are directly associated with hunger alleviation, educational opportunity
and sustainable development.  Few programs deliver so much for such a minimal investment.
            Rising food and transportation costs continue to erode the ability of McGovern-Dole to maintain projects, let alone increase the number of child beneficiaries.
Each year, USDA receives scores of proposals for McGovern-Dole projects that remain unfunded, demonstrating the range of need that still exists to be met and the necessity for increased funding. We are mindful, however, of the budget constraints confronting
the Committee this year and while we would prefer substantial increases in funding for McGovern-Dole, we request that the program receive no less than the FY 2016 levels, or the same as the FY 2017 level, whichever is
            Thank you for your attention and serious consideration of this request.