Bread celebrates World Food Prize honor

June 17, 2010 at 3:59 pm Leave a comment

The mood is jubilant today at Bread’s office in Washington, DC, as we learned that our president, David Beckmann, was just named a World Food Prize laureate. The prize honors people who contribute to the quality, quantity, and availability of food throughout the world. It’s a great honor—please join us in celebrating this wonderful news!

“The prize really is a recognition of Bread’s work,” Beckmann told staff members at a celebratory lunch today.  “It’s the first time the prize has been awarded to an advocacy organization.”

Beckmann cited the work of Bread’s members, partners, and staff in receiving the award. “I hope you all take satisfaction in this recognition of what we have done.”

Beckmann’s fellow laureate this year is Jo Luck, president of Heifer International. The World Food Prize recognized them both for their work to build up grassroots organizations that combat hunger and poverty worldwide.

“Right now, there’s an exceptional opportunity to change the politics of hunger,” Beckmann said. “It’s never easy, but this prize gives us a boost at an important time.”

Additional information…….

More than 300 people packed the ornate Benjamin Franklin room at the U.S. State Department today to hear who would be named this year’s World Food Prize laureates. Champagne, sparkling water, and tea flowed freely, along with glittering trays of hors d’oeuvres.

Guests milling around the room included diplomats, representatives of nongovernmental organizations, staff and members of Congress, and the family of Norman Borlaug, the Nobel Peace Prize winner who established the World Food Prize in 1986. Borlaug, a scientist and agriculturist, wanted to honor people who made significant contributions to improving the world’s food supply.

Ambassador Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation, announced to the hushed crowd that David Beckman, president of Bread for the World, and Jo Luck, president of Heifer International, are this year’s laureates.

“Our selection committee noted that while they did not work directly together, their efforts are complementary,” he told the gathering. “Through their leadership of two dynamic nonprofit organizations, they have had a dramatic impact in uplifting the lives of countless poor and hungry people around the world.”

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton added her accolades. “I personally am delighted by the announcement of the two winners for this year. I know and have worked with David Beckmann for a number of years. And Bread for the World has done an extraordinary job in not only providing positive responses in the fight against hunger, but in helping to really lead the way in terms of development and urging the United States to improve coordination and better target our investments and to learn from local communities, all lessons that we have embraced and applied in our Feed the Future Initiative.”

Clinton also announced the creation of the Norman Borlaug Commemorative Research Institute, which is part of the government’s Feed the Future initiative.

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