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Lutheran pastor wins world food prize

President of Bread for the World and ordained Lutheran pastor David Beckmann has been named a World Food Prize Laureate. Receiving this award, which is described as the Nobel Prize equivalent for food and agriculture, is cause for celebration. Yet, David Beckmann is staying focused on Bread for the World’s goals.

The Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World meets with church representatives in Uganda in 2005. Photo provided by Bread for the World.

“There will be a ceremony in Des Moines [Iowa] in October, and there will be some award money that I will give to Bread for the World,” Beckmann said. “There will be publicity of the event, hopefully this will stir up a surge of energy, that’s the main thing,” he said.

And right now there is a lot of good legislation. But to continue the process, Congress needs to hear from their constituents. -David Beckmann

Beckmann is being named a World Food Prize laureate, along with Jo Luck the president of Heifer international, to recognize the importance of non-governmental organizations (NGO). “I’m thrilled [to be named], this is an important recognition of all the work Bread for the World, churches, and people do to get the government to do what is right,” he told Metro Lutheran.

“U.S. funding for poverty-focused development assistance has tripled over the last decade. This wouldn’t have happened without members and local congregations of Bread for the World [being involved],” Beckmann explained.

For Beckmann being named a World Food Prize laureate is just part and parcel to something larger:

“Hundreds of millions of people have escaped from poverty. That is a sign of God’s work in our time,” Beckmann said.

The timing of this award is significant for Beckmann as well. “We have the best opportunity we have had in a decade” to effect U.S. policy, he said. “And right now there is a lot of good legislation. But to continue the process, Congress needs to hear from their constituents.”

Beckmann is hoping that being named a World Food Prize Laureate will contribute to the progress. “I am delighted and honored. I think a lot of times people feel discouraged and don’t think anything can be done. We have made progress.”

“The easiest way for someone to get involved would be to visit, www.bread.org,” Beckmann said. “We have a great presence in the Twin Cities area,” he said beaming.

According to Tammy Walhof, senior field organizer of the Midwest for Bread for the World, there are approximately 2,200 to 2,300 Bread for the World members in the Twin Cities metro area, and about half are Lutheran.

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