The leaders of two grassroots organizations working to end world hunger are being awarded this year’s World Food Prize. David Beckmann, a Nebraskan, and Jo Luck were introduced as the winners of the Iowa-based prize at a ceremony today in Washington, D-C.
Beckmann, a native of Lincoln, has served as president of Bread for the World since 1991. Luck has served as CEO of Arkansas based Heifer International since 1992.
Frank Swoboda, spokesperson for the World Food Prize, says: “Recognizing these two Laureates is a way of honoring the critical efforts of civil society organizations, grassroots networks and everyday citizens and the real power that all those actors can have in building political will to end hunger and actively engaging in the fight against hunger in the world.”
Bread for the World is described as “a collective Christian voice urging decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.” Under Beckmann’s leadership, Bread’s membership has grown by nearly 30,000 members in the past decade. Heifer International combats hunger by delivering food and income-producing animals to poor families and teaching communities how to become self-sustaining.
Swoboda says this is the first time since the World Food Prize was founded in 1986 that nongovernmental organizations or grassroots efforts have been recognized. “A typical World Food Prize winner is maybe a scientist who had some sort of technical breakthrough or a policy leader who worked at a very high level to instigate some change from the top,” Swoboda said. “But, these two are really being recognized for what they did to get grassroots, ground level support going for the fight against hunger.”
Beckmann and Luck will be presented the $250,000 World Food Prize on October 14 during a ceremony at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines. Learn more about Beckmann and Luck at: www.WorldFoodPrize.org