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NAMA Co-Sponsors Diplomatic Food Aid Mission to Africa with Senator George McGovern

June 1, 2010

Washington, DC – June 1, 2010 – Representatives of the North American Millers’ Association (NAMA) just returned from a NAMA/Friends of World Food Program food aid/food security trip to Kenya, Uganda and Rome. NAMA sponsored the 2-week trip that was led by former Senator and Ambassador, George McGovern. Trip participants visited World Food Program (WFP) sites and observed, first-hand, how nutrition programs fit into broader food security initiatives in Africa.

The Senator has been a lifelong champion for both domestic and international hunger programs. He and Senator Robert Dole were the authors of the George McGovern-Robert Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program. Senators McGovern and Dole were recognized in 2008 by the World Food Prize for their leadership in forging the link between the productivity of American farmers and the needs of hungry children around the world.

NAMA representatives included:

  • Paul Maass, President, ConAgra Mills Inc., Omaha, NE; Vice Chairman, North American Millers’ Association
  • Rod Geiger, President, Bartlett Milling Co., Kansas City MO; Chairman, International Trade Committee, North American Millers’ Association
  • Betsy Faga, Immediate Past President, North American Millers’ Association, Washington, DC

Additional participants included:

  • Rick Leach, President, Friends of the World Food Program, Washington, DC
  • Diane Spoden, Aide to Senator McGovern, St. Augustine, FL

“The mission was an opportunity to view the dramatic impact the McGovern-Dole program is having in fighting hunger, while promoting education”, said Senator McGovern. “It’s gratifying to now see how many children are being educated and now have access to wholesome, nutritious food through these important programs.”Paul Maass added, “The North American Millers’ Association takes pride in producing highly nutritious grain foods, to make these programs a success. It was a thrill to have been able to see these programs in action, changing children’s and families’ lives for the better through our industry’s partnerships with the U.S. government, World Food Program and the private voluntary organizations.”

The McGovern–Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, administered by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service, helps support education, child development, and food security for some of the world’s poorest children. It provides for donations of U.S. agricultural products, as well as financial and technical assistance, for school feeding and maternal and child nutrition projects in low-income, food-deficit countries that are committed to universal education.

Senator McGovern summed up the mission’s accomplishments in this way: “We were able to once again be inspired by the importance of fighting hunger and promoting education as vital parts of the food security in the world. Access to highly nutritious foods can dramatically change children’s futures and our programs are the key to that change.”

Senator George McGovern observes the food distributed to HIV/AIDS patients by AMPATH (the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare) in conjunction with the World Food Program.Betsy Faga, NAMA immediate past president, outside of the school kitchen funded by actress Drew Barrymore. Senator George McGovern participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

NAMA Vice Chairman Paul Maass, ConAgra Mills, Inc. with a leader in a Kenyan school receiving U.S. food assistance.

NAMA International Trade Committee Chairman Rod Geiger, Bartlett Milling Company, talks with children receiving lunch under the McGovern-Dole program.

Senator George McGovern becomes
an elder of the Masai tribe.

Senator George McGovern distributes food aid.

NAMA is the trade association representing 45 companies that operate 170 wheat, oat and corn mills in 38 states and Canada. Their collective production capacity exceeds 160 million pounds of product each day, more than 95 percent of the total industry production.


CONTACT: Terri Long
Director of Communications
202.484.2200, ext.11
[email protected]

The North American Millers’ Association prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital or family status, age, disability, political beliefs or sexual orientation. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact NAMA at 202.484.2200 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to Mary Waters, President, 600 Maryland Avenue SW, Suite 825W, Washington, DC, 20024 or call 202.484.2200 ext. 13. NAMA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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