Thursday, October 21, 2010

Heifer International president is co-winner of 2010 World Food Prize.

Jo Luck, president of Heifer International, was co-recipient of the World Food Prize on Oct. 14 for her work through Heifer to ensure availability and sustainability of food to people in need around the world. She shared the prestigious prize with David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World.

During Luck’s acceptance speech, she referenced the work of the Church of the Brethren and the beginnings of Heifer International. The organization was started as the Church of the Brethren’s Heifer Project, by then-denominational staff member Dan West.

The World Food Prize was presented at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines, as part of the 2010 Borlaug Dialogue on the theme, "Take It to the Farmer: Reaching the World's Smallholders." The prize is presented to individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity, or availability of food in the world.

"The awards mark the first time NGOs (non-governmental organizations) have been recipients of the $250,000 prize; more often the laureates have been scientists from the developing world," commented Howard Royer, manager of the Global Food Crisis Fund.

Attending on behalf of the Church of the Brethren was Kathleen Campanella, director of partner and public relations at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., who represents the Church of the Brethren on the Heifer International Board.

Also present at the ceremony were 13 guests of the Foods Resource Bank from a number of countries including Guatemala, the Gambia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Laos, and Zambia. The group included two representatives from Totonicapan, Guatemala, a food security program for which the Church of the Brethren is a lead sponsor: Hugo Garrido, who coordinates the Totonicapan program, and Olga Tumax, women’s leader. The group plans to visit several growing projects while they are visiting the US, among them Ivester Church of the Brethren in Iowa.

-- Kathleen Campanella is director of partner and public relations at the Brethren Service Center.

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