Dole honored with Congressional Gold Medal
As former Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan., received the Congressional Gold Medal in recognition for his service as a soldier, legislator, and statesman on Wednesday, the Food Research & Action Center noted his role in the fight against hunger in the United States and and around the world.
Dole worked frequently with the late Sen. George McGovern, D-S.D., on a bipartisan basis on nutrition programs.
Dole’s “focus on bipartisanship and partnership instead of political divisiveness led to sustainable solutions that not only benefit those in need, but the country as a whole,” FRAC President Jim Weill said in a news release.
FRAC noted that Dole:
▪ Provided crucial leadership to improve the food stamp program, now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. The Dole-McGovern Food Stamp Reform Act, passed in 1975, greatly expanded participation in the program.
▪ Described food stamps as the most important social program since Social Security, and played a key role in preventing Congress from making severe cuts to the program in the 1980s.
▪ Helped create the WIC program — the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children — to ensure pregnant women, new mothers, and young children are able to get the nutrition they need for optimum health.
▪ Helped strengthen the nation’s key child nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch Program.
“It is intolerable to most Americans that some people are going hungry in this land,” Dole said when he was chair of the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition. After leaving Congress, he joined with McGovern to create the international school lunch program through the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Fund.
In 1990, FRAC presented Dole with its Distinguished Service Award for his long-standing leadership in addressing hunger.
Dole represented the state of Kansas in Congress from 1961 until 1996 — eight years in the House of Representatives, followed by 27 years in the Senate.
–The Hagstrom Report