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Dr. Deborah Frank accepts the Wheeler Wellstone Award.

WASHINGTON, March 3, 2020 — The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) awarded the Dr. Raymond Wheeler/Senator Paul Wellstone Anti-Hunger Advocacy Leadership Award to Children’s HealthWatch and its founder and principal investigator, Deborah Frank, MD. The award was presented during the 2020 National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference, held in Washington, D.C. from March 1–3.  The conference brought together over 1,000 anti-hunger advocates, nutrition program providers, and policymakers from across the country for two days of networking and training to help attendees better fight hunger in their communities, followed by a day on Capitol Hill.

The Dr. Raymond Wheeler/Senator Paul Wellstone Anti-Hunger Advocacy Leadership Award is awarded each year by FRAC to an advocacy group and individual who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in the fight against hunger in America.

“Dr. Frank has long served as a role model for anti-hunger advocates, particularly health care providers, throughout the nation,” said Luis Guardia, president, Food Research & Action Center. “The groundbreaking research that she and the dedicated staff at Children’s HealthWatch conduct has led to positive change across the country. FRAC is proud of our partnership, which includes many joint publications and efforts in the fight to end hunger.”

Since 1998, Children’s HealthWatch, a network of pediatricians and public health researchers based at Boston Medical Center, has researched and analyzed the role of the federal nutrition programs in supporting the healthy development of young children in low-income families. Their research affirms the important role nutrition plays in supporting young children’s healthy growth and development.

These programs —including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) — reduce hunger and poverty, improve health and learning, increase productivity, create jobs, and strengthen our communities.

“Without the federal nutrition programs and strong advocates like Children’s HealthWatch and Dr. Frank, hunger in the U.S. would be far, far worse,” added Guardia. “Their tireless efforts to protect and strengthen these programs have made them national leaders in the anti-hunger movement.”


For 50 years, the Food Research & Action Center has been the leading national nonprofit organization working to eradicate poverty-related hunger and undernutrition in the United States. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

About the Dr. Raymond Wheeler/ Senator Paul Wellstone Anti-Hunger Advocacy Leadership Award
Dr. Raymond Wheeler, an eminent Southern physician, was a pioneering champion of the fight against hunger, poverty and economic injustice. His findings in the late 1960s led to the publication of Hunger USA and a prime-time CBS documentary, “Hunger in America.” Dr. Wheeler’s efforts, both in North Carolina and on Capitol Hill, led to widespread recognition of hunger as a problem throughout America and to the expansion of the Food Stamp Program in the late 1960s. In recognition of his central role in fighting hunger through public policy, FRAC named this award after Dr. Wheeler in the 1980s.

The late Senator Paul Wellstone focused much of his extraordinary energy and commitment on eradicating hunger and poverty in America. Wellstone challenged the nation to stand up for children and challenged his colleagues to reject the stereotyping and misinformation about poor, hungry people in America. In recognition of Senator Wellstone’s passionate, eloquent and steadfast championing of the needs of poor people in this country, FRAC named this award after him as well as Dr. Wheeler.