The McGovern–Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program helps support education, child development and food security in low-income, food-deficit countries around the globe. The program provides for the donation of U.S. agricultural commodities, as well as financial and technical assistance, to support school feeding and maternal and child nutrition projects.

The key objective of the McGovern-Dole Program is to reduce hunger and improve literacy and primary education, especially for girls. By providing school meals, teacher training and related support, McGovern-Dole projects help boost school enrollment and academic performance. At the same time, the program also focuses on improving children’s health and learning capacity before they enter school by offering nutrition programs for pregnant and nursing women, infants and pre-schoolers.

McGovern-Dole projects are conducted by non-profit charitable organizations, cooperatives, the United Nations World Food Program and other international organizations. FAS announces a list of priority countries each year, based on factors such as per-capita income and literacy and malnutrition rates. 

Proposals are selected based on criteria that include:

  • the applicant’s experience implementing similar projects and working in the targeted country;
  • the targeting of low-income areas with low school attendance or enrollment rates, especially for girls; and
  • the involvement of local institutions and communities.

Sustainability is an important aspect of the McGovern-Dole Program. FAS and its partner organizations work to ensure that the communities served by the program can ultimately continue the sponsored activities on their own or with support from other sources such as the host government or local community.

The McGovern-Dole Program is named in honor of Ambassador and former U.S. Senator George McGovern and former U.S. Senator Robert Dole in recognition of their tireless efforts to eradicate childhood hunger.

McGovern-Dole Program Regulations

7 CFR Part 1599 - McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program