George McGovern, who tackled global child hunger as a way to improve education after he lost the 1972 presidential election as the Democratic candidate, died Oct. 21 at the age of 90.
Mr. McGovern, who served as a U.S. senator and representative from South Dakota and ran for president on two other occasions, co-founded the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program for children in poverty-stricken countries with former Sen. Bob Dole, a Kansas Republican, in 2002.
With donations of agricultural products as well as financial and technical assistance from the United States, the program targets poor regions around the world where school attendance and enrollment rates are low but that show a commitment to universal education, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Teacher training and literacy efforts have also been part of the program.
The Agriculture Department’s fact sheet from 2011 stated that in 2003 and 2004, participating organizations reported that school enrollment increased by 14 percent overall and by 17 percent for girls.
Mr. McGovern told the San Francisco Chronicle in 2001 that school attendance and performance rise in Third World countries when children are properly fed.
Speaking at the dedication of his library and museum in South Dakota in 2006, Mr. McGovern said, “I want to live long enough to see all of the 300 million school-age kids around the world who are not being fed be given a good nutritional lunch every day."—andrew ujifusa
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
A version of this article appeared in the October 31, 2012 edition of Education Week as 1972 Presidential Candidate, Child-Nutrition Advocate Dies