Statement attributed to Luis Guardia, president, Food Research & Action Center (FRAC)
WASHINGTON, December 6, 2021 — The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Senator Bob Dole (R-Kan.).
Hunger in America would be far worse without Senator Dole’s bipartisan efforts. Because of his leadership, millions of households have been, and continue to be, lifted out of hunger and poverty.
For more than 35 years, Senator Dole tirelessly worked across the aisle to champion anti-hunger programs in the U.S. and abroad. He teamed up with Senator George McGovern (D-S.D.) to improve the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps. They were major players in the Food and Agriculture Act of 1977, which greatly strengthened and expanded participation in the program.
Senator Dole described SNAP as the most important social program advance since the creation of Social Security. SNAP still proves to be far more effective than any other program lifting people out of deep poverty.
This dynamic and unusual duo also worked to expand the National School Lunch Program in the U.S. In 2002, they applied successes from the program to create the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program to help feed more children around the world. Dole also was a proponent for the School Breakfast Program, noting, “it’s just as important as school lunch.”
In 2020 alone, SNAP and the National School Lunch Program lifted 3.2 million adults and children out of poverty.
Senator Dole also was instrumental in the creation of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and continuously pushed for increased funding for the program.
In 1990, FRAC recognized Senator Dole with its Distinguished Service Award for his lifetime commitment to ending hunger.
We celebrate his life today and every day moving forward as we continue our bipartisan tradition to bring attention to America’s hunger and poverty crisis. We will continue to call for solutions that will keep children and families fed and out of poverty. This includes the critical child nutrition provisions in the Build Back Better Act. The House of Representatives recently passed the bill and we are now urging the Senate to quickly follow suit.
Critical investments are needed now more than ever to help ensure children have access to the nutrition they need. As Senator Dole knew all too well, hungry children can’t wait.
Watch our video of former FRAC Board Member Marshall Matz, who served as General Counsel to Senator McGovern, interviewing Senator Dole in 2019 about his anti-hunger legacy.
The Food Research & Action Center is the leading national nonprofit organization working to eradicate poverty-related hunger and undernutrition in the United States. To learn more, visit FRAC.org and follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.