Beckmann Named World Food Prize Laureate
Washington, DC, June 16, 2010
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Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, has been named a 2010 World Food Prize laureate, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced today. He shares the award, the Nobel Prize equivalent for food and agriculture, with Jo Luck, president of Heifer International.
The laureates were recognized for their "landmark achievements in building two of the world's foremost grassroots organizations leading the charge to end hunger and poverty for millions of people around the world." In honoring them, the World Food Prize "recognizes the critical efforts of NGOs in mobilizing and empowering everyday citizens to end hunger in communities around the world."
"The World Food Prize recognizes all that Bread for the World members and churches across the country have done to get our government to help end hunger in our country and around the world," said Rev. Beckmann. "U.S. funding for poverty-focused development assistance has tripled over the last decade; nutrition programs for hungry people in this country have more than doubled. This would not have happened without the advocacy of members and local congregations of Bread for the World."
Rev. Beckmann has been president of Bread for the World since 1991. He is an ordained Lutheran minister and economist. He also serves as president of Bread for the World Institute and is the founder and current president of the Alliance to End Hunger. His latest book, Exodus from Hunger, will be published in October by Westminster John Knox Press (www.exodusfromhunger.com).
The World Food Prize cited the effectiveness of Bread for the World's advocacy, which has achieved policies and programs that have brought hundreds of millions of people out of hunger and poverty. Under Beckmann's leadership, Bread has grown to more than 72,000 members—which includes individuals, 5,000 local congregations, and 50 denominational partners. Bread has members in each of the 435 congressional districts in the country. Through its members, more than 1 million Christians are engaged today in Bread's advocacy to end hunger.
"I hope the World Food Prize will encourage more people to get involved in changing the politics of hunger. Right now, we have exceptional opportunities to win changes in Congress that will provide help and opportunity to hungry people," said Rev. Beckmann. "The progress that the world has made against hunger and poverty is God moving in our time, and God is calling us now to get our country to do more to provide help and opportunity to hungry people."
The late Norman Borlaug, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, established the World Food Prize in 1986 to honor outstanding individuals who make vital contributions to food and agriculture. There are 33 laureates so far, most of them scientists. Rev. Beckmann is the first clergyman to receive the award.
"World Food Prize founder Dr. Norman Borlaug believed we had the collective duty and knowledge to eradicate hunger worldwide," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who was also at the prize announcement. "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 World Food Prize ceremony will take place October 14, 2010, in Des Moines, Iowa.
Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.
Kristen Y. Archer, Media Relations Manager, 202-688-1118
Fito Moreno, Media Relations Specialist, 202-688-1138