Rwanda - Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden today announced that seven new school feeding projects could benefit more than 2.5 million children in Africa and Central America.
The projects were awarded as part of the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program. Through the program, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) works with private voluntary organizations and foreign governments in developing countries around the globe to reduce hunger and improve literacy and primary education.
"By providing school meals, teacher training and related support, McGovern-Dole projects help boost school enrollment and academic performance, with a special focus on girls," said Harden. "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."
USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) provides U.S. agricultural commodities, as well as financial and technical assistance, to support McGovern-Dole projects worldwide. In fiscal year 2015, FAS is donating U.S.-produced corn, corn-soy blend, lentils, green and yellow split peas, fortified rice, vegetable oil and pinto beans.
The seven new McGovern-Dole projects being supported by FAS in fiscal year 2015 are in addition to 28 projects ongoing in 21 countries. Since the program was established in 2002, it has benefited more than 30 million children in 38 countries.