David Beckmann and Jo Luck are receiving this year’s World Food Prize—the first leaders of non-governmental organizations to be honored with the prestigious award.
Beckmann is president of Bread for the World and serves on the Advisory Council of IFPRI’s 2020 Vision Initiative on food, agriculture, and the environment. Luck is president of Heifer International. The World Food Prize Committee said that in choosing them to receive the $250,000 prize, it was recognizing non-governmental organizations’ critical contribution to the global fight against hunger.
Shenggen Fan, the IFPRI director general, welcomed the announcement. “David Beckmann and Jo Luck have worked tirelessly to build Bread for the World and Heifer International into two of the world’s most influential grassroots advocates for poor and hungry people,” he said. “We congratulate them and look forward to closer collaboration.”
Beckmann has been a leading force in raising US investment to alleviate hunger at home and abroad and improve agriculture and rural infrastructure in developing countries. In 2004, he brought together a diverse collection of organizations under the US Alliance to End Hunger, improving coordination and cooperation between groups who share his vision of providing food to those in need.
Luck has helped more than 12 million people around the world to grow or obtain enough food to live healthier, more productive lives. Under her leadership, Heifer International also has strived to educate Americans on the impact that their decisions can have on hungry people in other countries.
Nobel Peace laureate Norman Borlaug created the World Food Prize in 1986 to honor those who make outstanding contributions to improving the quality, quantity, or availability of food throughout the world. Beckmann and Luck, both of the United States, join a global fellowship of doctors, scholars, researchers, and legislators.