Stabenow receives World Food Program USA's highest honor

By Daniel Enoch

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WASHINGTON, Sept. 10, 2014 - Senate Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow was presented today with the World Food Program USA's McGovern-Dole Leadership Award - its highest honor -- for her efforts in fighting global hunger.

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The award, presented by Vice President Joe Biden at a ceremony in Washington, honors Stabenow's work in bringing Democrats and Republicans together to pass the 2014 Farm Bill, which includes provisions aimed at alleviating hunger and providing aid in crisis regions around the world.

“A new program established by Senator Stabenow - just a few words of text in the bill - will have a transformative impact,” said Rick Leach, president and CEO of World Food Program USA. “Now we can buy food from small-scale farmers, who often suffer from hunger, to feed children in school. Through this effort, we can lift the first group out of hunger and extreme poverty while providing hope and opportunity for the second.”

The McGovern-Dole Leadership Award recognizes leaders who have played a critical role in addressing and helping to solve global hunger and has been awarded in the past to Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, former Kansas Senator Bob Dole, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, businessman and philanthropist Howard Buffett, Representative Jim McGovern, and recording artist Christina Aguilera.

It bears the name of Dole and former South Dakota Senator George McGovern to exemplify their strong commitment to ending world hunger and to honor their pioneering efforts, and that of others, to feed the hungry. Dole, a Republican, and McGovern, a Democrat, worked across party lines, putting partisanship aside for the shared purpose of feeding the world's most vulnerable people, World Food Program USA says on its website.

Stabenow, a Michigan Democrat, said she was honored to receive the award.

“This award means so much to me because I know the World Food Program travels to the ends of the earth - literally - to deliver food and supplies to men, women and children. Deliveries that may be the difference between life and death,” Stabenow said.

“As Americans, we are compelled to help alleviate global hunger because it's simply the right thing to do. It's also the smart thing to do. International aid is more than a Band-Aid - it's a building block to create stronger economies around the world. Food security is a stabilizing force in destabilized regions. By fighting global hunger and strengthening local agricultural economies, we are enhancing global security.”

Stabenow played a major role in crafting the 2014 Farm Bill, which included reforms that provide aid partners with flexibility to deliver resources to international crisis zones more efficiently. The bill has received widespread support and praise from hunger and international aid organizations tension.

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