Approximately 350,000 school children in Bangladesh now have access to a daily snack after the U.S. government recently donated more than 10,000 metric tons of wheat to the country through the Foreign Agricultural Service’s (FAS) McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program.
The program – aligned with President Obama’s Feed the Future initiative – helps support education, child development and food security for school children in low-income, food-deficit countries committed to universal education.
The shipment of wheat was delivered to the World Food Programme, a McGovern-Dole program participant that works to provide food assistance in more than 73 countries. The wheat will be used to produce nutritious biscuits for children in about 2,000 schools in the poorest areas of Bangladesh.
During a ceremonial handover of the wheat in Chittagong, Bangladesh, U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh Dan W. Mozena said the United States’ support for Bangladesh’s school feeding program supplements the two nation’s partnership to build greater food security.
“Our celebration today is about more than a mountain of donated wheat from America. What we celebrate today is partnership between America and Bangladesh to nurture the children of Bangladesh physically and mentally and to build the nation’s citizens of tomorrow,” he said. Mozena also noted nourished school children in Bangladesh are more likely to remain in school, study, learn and ensure a brighter future for the nation.
The McGovern-Dole program has partnered with the World Food Programme in Bangladesh over the past decade to provide basic nutrition and to encourage parents to keep their children in primary school.
Currently, FAS funds 37 active McGovern-Dole Food for Education agreements with 16 cooperating sponsors in 26 countries, assisting more than five million beneficiaries. To date, the program has provided meals to more than 28 million children.