McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program

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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. 

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.

McGovern-Dole projects are conducted by nonprofit 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. 

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.

2023 McGovern-Dole Priority Countries

For FY 2023, USDA anticipates awarding up to $224 million in new McGovern-Dole cooperative agreements. Each of the projects will be five years in duration. Priority countries for FY 2023 are Cameroon, Haiti, Mozambique, Nepal, Nicaragua, Sri Lanka, and Togo. These countries have demonstrated significant need, a national government commitment to school feeding programs, and shared views on global food security, agricultural sustainability, and key international initiatives (such as the School Meals Coalition).

Proposals for McGovern-Dole projects in non-priority countries remain eligible for consideration.

How to Apply

When available, the FY 2023 Notice of Funding Opportunity and information on how to apply will be published on Grants.gov.

Data and Analysis

The USDA/FAS McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program is supporting education, child development, and food security in Sri Lanka. The objective of the Sri Lanka McGovern-Dole PALAM/A project is to reduce hunger and improve literacy and primary education, especially for young girls.

News and Features

For FY 2023, USDA anticipates awarding up to $224 million in new McGovern-Dole cooperative agreements. USDA has identified the following as priority countries for FY 2023: Cameroon, Haiti, Mozambique, Nepal, Nicaragua, Sri Lanka, and Togo.
November 4, 2022
Communications to Congress

International Food Assistance Report FY 2021

Programs in Action

In 2022, USDA marks the 20th anniversary of the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, which nas benefited more than 31 million schoolchildren and their families around the globe.
While in Kenya, Ambassador Cindy McCain saw how USDA’s McGovern-Dole Program has helped boost food security and educational opportunities for vulnerable children and families.

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