Casey Honors George McGovern and Bob Dole for Their Work on the War Against Hunger

WASHINGTON, DC-U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today introduced a bipartisan resolution to recognize the contributions that former Senators George McGovern (D-SD) and Bob Dole (R-KS) made and continue to make on the war against hunger.  The resolution marks the 4oth anniversary of the establishment of the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs.   

“Forty years ago today, Senators McGovern and Dole set out to ignite the war on hunger.  Their work helped to educate the Congress, the Federal government and the nation at large about the sheer magnitude of hunger in the United States,” said Senator Casey.  “Today, we honor their work and the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs.  We still have a long way to go in the battle against hunger, but because of the work of Senators McGovern and Dole we have come a long way.” 

Forty years ago, CBS aired a landmark documentary, “Hunger in America,” which exposed the magnitude of hunger that existed all across this nation.  For the first time, Americans got an up-close look at the true faces of hunger – including pregnant women and children who were malnourished, infants dying of starvation and starving tenant farmers living just miles from this nation’s Capitol.   

The documentary had a profound effect on Senator McGovern who as a result, 40 years ago today, established the Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs.  Over the next decade, Senator McGovern, Senator Dole, and other members of this unique Senate Committee developed a bipartisan response to hunger and laid the foundation of our current food assistance programs.  The members worked hard to enact and reform many anti-hunger programs, including the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, the Summer Food Service Program, the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants and Children (better known as WIC) and the Food Stamp Program.   

Senator Casey has been a leader on hunger and nutrition issues in the United States Senate.   As a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Senator Casey urged the committee to increase investments in nutrition programs through the 2008 Farm Bill and has introduced bipartisan legislation to provide funds for domestic food assistance.  He was among the first Members of Congress to address the global food crisis by drafting in early March a letter to Senate appropriators, signed by six other Members, advocating an expansion of emergency funds in the upcoming supplemental appropriations bill.  

Senator Casey met with George McGovern on issues of domestic hunger and recently met with Josette Sheeran, Executive Director of the UN World Food Program, to discuss the program’s needs and problems it faces as global food prices continue to rise.  Last year, Senator Casey and Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) introduced the Summer Food Service Rural Expansion Act which would lower the eligibility threshold for feeding sites in rural areas to qualify for the Summer Food Service Program. Earlier this year, Senator Casey along with Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) introduced the Bonus TEFAP Assistance Act to help move additional food to food banks that have experienced a spike in demand. 

The resolution is cosponsored by:
Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
Tom Harkin (D-IA)
John Kerry (D-MA)
Bernard Sanders (I-VT)
Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Elizabeth Dole (R-NC)
Mark Pryor (D-AR)
Gordon Smith (R-OR)
Tim Johnson (D-SD)
Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY)
Russell Feingold (D-WI)



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