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2010 World Food Prize honors grassroots leaders David Beckmann, Jo Luck

Jun 16, 2010

NGO leaders David Beckmann of Bread for the World and Jo Luck of Heifer International will share the $250,000 World Food Prize, as announced at a ceremony featuring U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah

2010 World Food Prize honors grassroots leaders David Beckmann, Jo Luck

(WASHINGTON, D.C., USA) – David Beckmann and Jo Luck were named co-winners of the 2010 World Food Prize at a June 16 ceremony at the U.S. State Department that featured Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah.

Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation, made the announcement of this year’s Laureates. “David Beckmann and Jo Luck are receiving the World Food Prize for their landmark achievements in building Bread for the World and Heifer International into two of the world’s foremost grassroots organizations leading the charge to end hunger and poverty for millions of people around the globe,” Quinn said.

David Beckmann has been head of Bread for the World - described as “a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad” - since 1991. Beckmann marshals a massive annual advocacy effort in which a quarter of a million constituents contact their elected officials to urge support for legislation to change the policies, programs, and conditions that allow hunger to persist.

His inspired leadership has increased Bread’s membership from 44,500 to more than 72,500 in the past decade. The government policies and programs he has fought for have brought hundreds of millions of people out of hunger and poverty. Thanks in large part to his advocacy efforts, the U.S. Congress has tripled poverty-focused development assistance during the past decade; U.S. aid to Africa has quadrupled, and funding for agriculture and rural infrastructure has increased eightfold; domestic nutrition programs and federal food assistance to needy families increased from $33 billion in FY2000 to $80 billion in FY2009; and reforms in the U.S. Farm Bill have provided greater opportunity for struggling families in rural America and rural areas of the developing world.

Jo Luck has spearheaded the effort to build Heifer International into one of the premier hunger-fighting organizations anywhere in the world, bringing food- and income-producing animals to extremely poor families, guiding them to self-reliance, and providing opportunity for improved livelihoods through animal husbandry, technical training, and community development.

Since becoming CEO in 1992, Jo Luck has greatly expanded the scope and impact of Heifer’s activities worldwide. Through her leadership, Heifer educates the world’s resource-poor and hungry, combating hunger by teaching poor communities how to become self-sustaining. She created innovative public education initiatives linking grassroots donors in rich countries to recipients in developing countries. As a result, the number of Heifer supporters grew from 20,000 in 1992 to more than 500,000 in 2009. Heifer’s outreach activities have enabled 12 million families, including 1.5 million families in 2009 alone, to put nutritious food on their own tables and also contribute to feeding others through Heifer’s practice of “Passing on the Gift,” which asks every recipient family to give a female offspring of their animal to another family in need.

"I commend the World Food Prize [Laureates David Beckmann and Jo Luck], NGO leaders and passionate advocates of the principles that Dr. Borlaug stood for," said Secretary Clinton.

“World Food Prize founder Dr. Norman Borlaug believed we had the collective duty and knowledge to eradicate hunger worldwide,” said Sec. Vilsack.  “David Beckmann and Jo Luck’s efforts to bring hundreds of thousands of global citizens into the battle against hunger and poverty domestically and around the globe are shining examples of his vision in action.”

The 2010 World Food Prize will be formally presented to David Beckmann and Jo Luck at the 2010 World Food Prize Laureate Award Ceremony at the Iowa State Capitol on October 14. The ceremony will be held as part of the World Food Prize’s 2010 Borlaug Dialogue, themed “Take it to the Farmer: Reaching the World’s Smallholders.”


 

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