The World Food Prize Foundation

Iowa Hunger Advocate Named First Recipient of the Robert D. Ray Iowa SHARES Humanitarian Award


 Lucille Morgan Wilson, organizer of the Des Moines Area Hunger Hike, will receive the award Tuesday at the Iowa Hunger Summit.

Lucille Wilson

Des Moines, Iowa (Oct. 12, 2013) -- The World Food Prize today announced that the first Robert D. Ray Iowa SHARES Humanitarian Award will be presented this week during the Iowa Hunger Summit to Lucille Morgan Wilson, a longtime Iowa hunger advocate who has for 30 years organized the Des Moines Area Hunger Hike and who will retire from that role this year. 

“Lucille has taken her passion for hunger issues and translated that into a huge annual event that has had a tremendous impact on our community, both in terms of raising visibility about hunger and raising money to help local organizations that feed hungry people,” said Amb. Kenneth M. Quinn, President of the World Food Prize Foundation. “We are all grateful for her leadership and dedication.”
This award was established last month in honor of Gov. Ray on his 85th birthday and will annually honor an Iowan who has provided significant leadership in confronting hunger and alleviating human suffering both at home and abroad, much as Gov. Ray did on behalf of Asian refugees during his time in office. 
Lucille has dedicated countless hours to organizing the Des Moines community around hunger issues, and shining a spotlight on hunger in the Des Moines area and beyond. The Des Moines Area Hunger Hike is “a thousand people hiking for hunger, once a year, to increase community consciousness and concern about local and worldwide hunger and its root causes… (working) to raise funds to be used by non-profit agencies and programs to help alleviate the problem of hunger.”
The Des Moines Area Hunger Hike was started in 1969. Over the past 22 years, over $900,000 has been given to local organizations for food purposes, an average of more than $41,000 per year. 
Lucille is also a gifted poet and the editor of the Iowa Poetry Association’s Lyrical Iowa, who wrote the poignant poem “In Any Language” that is read every year at the international World Food Prize Laureate Award Ceremony: 
“In Any Language”
In any language
hunger is an ugly word
There is no music in hunger
The rumble of empty stomachs
The monotonous whine of a child waste with disease
The moan of the mother whose baby lies bloated and still in her arms
Hunger is the listless den of apathy
Bread of weakness
The faded brown and grey of dead leaves after autumn has ebbed.
The first annual Robert D. Ray Iowa SHARES Humanitarian Award will be presented on Tuesday, October 15, at the Iowa Hunger Summit, a free, grassroots event organized by The World Food Prize to unite all Iowans working to alleviate hunger at home and abroad. More information, an agenda and registration is available at
More information about the Des Moines Area Hunger Hike is available at
ABOUT THE WORLD FOOD PRIZE:  The World Food Prize was founded in 1986 by Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, recipient of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. Since then, The World Food Prize has honored outstanding individuals who have made vital contributions to improving the quality, quantity or availability of food throughout the world. The Prize also hosts the annual Borlaug Dialogue international symposium on global food security issues and a variety of youth programs that aim to inspire the next generation to work in the fields surrounding global agriculture. 
Media Contact: Megan Forgrave, Director of Communications, or 515-229-1705 (Cell)


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