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NEW YORK — Former Sen. George McGovern was a friend to anyone who is concerned about the issue of hunger and malnutrition in the world.
As the one-time United Nations Ambassador to the Hungry, McGovern had always made battling hunger a top concern, even when the political winds did not favor that fight as a topical concern. But, unfortunately, as he knew better than anyone, hunger and malnutrition still must command our attention.
McGovern's death on Sunday at age 90 is indeed a sad moment for our nation, regardless of political persuasions. McGovern was someone who cared very deeply about people, cared about issues of injustice, cared about brokenness. He was committed to using the strength of his public service to bring healing and reconciliation.
I recall being with him in 2002, when he delivered a keynote address to some of our staff from Church World Service who were meeting in Daytona Beach, Fla. He was a huge supporter of our nationwide CROP Hunger Walks, which raise funds and awareness for food programs here in the U.S. and around the globe.
His talk anticipated our organization's plans for a multi-year Campaign to End Child Malnutrition in Africa.
"I hope someday we will be able to proclaim that we have banished hunger in the United States," he said, "and that we’ve been able to bring nutrition and health to the whole world."