At the beginning of this year, Congressional leaders presented the Congressional Gold Medal to former Senator Bob Dole. The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) is pleased to add its felicitations to Senator Dole, a lifelong leader in the fight against hunger in the U.S. and around the world.

In 1990, FRAC was honored to present Senator Dole with its Distinguished Service Award.

Senator Dole’s fellow Kansan and agriculture and nutrition champion, former U.S. Representative and USDA Secretary Dan Glickman (a member of FRAC’s board), said, “Bob Dole has been an exceptional role model for me personally and for many others, especially for his work on feeding the hungry at home and abroad. His influence in these areas, and so many others, is unmatched. He embodies the spirit of the Jewish Talmud, which says that if you save one life, you save the entire world. He has spent his career doing so at home and abroad.”

Working on a bipartisan basis, and often teaming up with Senator George McGovern, Senator Dole

  • provided crucial leadership to improve the Food Stamp Program, particularly during the 1970s, making the program accessible to many more of the nation’s hungry households;
  • helped create the WIC program — the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children;
  • expanded the reach of the National School Lunch Program, and otherwise helped strengthen the nation’s key child nutrition programs; and
  • after leaving the Senate, led the effort to get Congress to create the international school lunch program through the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Fund.

Throughout his time in Congress (including 27 years on the House and Senate agriculture committees) and since leaving Congress, Senator Dole has been a powerful and consistent voice for feeding hungry people. When he was chair of the U.S. Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition, his abhorrence of hunger in this wealthy country was summed up best when he said, “it is intolerable to most Americans that some people are going hungry in this land.”

Last year, Senator Dole wrote in the Kansas City Star:

“As John F. Kennedy once said, ‘Food is strength, and food is peace, and food is freedom, and food is a helping hand to people around the world whose goodwill and friendship we want.’ During my time in the U.S. Senate, I worked alongside Democratic colleagues, like my late friend Sen. George McGovern, to establish programs to feed hungry people in the United States and around the world. After we both left the U.S. Senate, we worked together to launch a U.S. program that provides school meals to children in the world’s poorest classrooms … Despite the current politically contentious period, this bipartisan U.S. legacy continues … The world has changed drastically since I left office in 1996. But one thing remains the same: Food still plays a crucial role in global and national security.”