Texas A&M Faculty International Agriculture Summit 2011

Tears filled my eyes last Thursday night when I heard live and close the honorable ex Senator George McGovern tell the story of when he came to realization that hunger indeed existed in the United States. How he passed the law of all school systems required to provide reduced lunch and free lunch. As Senator he saw a documentary or news report (can’t quite remember, I’m pretty sure the latter) filmed far deep in the slums of some city in the U.S. and how at the lunch line the camera was zoomed in on a young boy. He was asked why he would not get lunch, he said he didn’t have money and that he felt ashamed. Senator McGovern looked at his wife and his daughters, and said “that boy shouldn’t feel ashamed, I am the one to be ashamed”. He went on the next morning and wrote that into law and ever since kids like me have benefitted from this type of economic relief and have not been left behind in getting food at the public schools. I made sure to wait in line, shake his hand, and thank him for this one direct contribution that had benefitted me personally. He has made many more contributions, among many others that concern food: He was the first director of the Food for Peace program, key player in the creation of the United Nations-based World Food Programme,the first UN Global Ambassador on World Hunger, World Food Prize co-laureate in 2008. He introduced reforms and new nutritional guidelines for Americans in his “McGovern Report”, and we can’t forget his McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program (IFEP). It was an honor. I could not forget to mention I was awarded a Fulbright fellowship, that my interests were deeply invested in making a difference in the food and agriculture realm, and he replied with a personal story about Senator Fulbright, and how Fulbright fellowships had been his most proud accomplishment.

Texas A&M Faculty International Summit 2011

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