Presidential Campaign

Hillary Clinton: The leader we need to fight global hunger

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You may not believe it, but this is what a Republican senator once said of Hillary Clinton as secretary of State: “She is dedicated to her job. She loves her country. She understands the issues. … More importantly I think she is a good role model for young people.”

These were the words of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) when introducing Clinton at an event on global hunger in 2012. Clinton thanked him joking, “We promised him that we would seize and erase all tapes of what he has just said,” in order to protect Graham’s career.

{mosads}The issue of hunger is one where Clinton showed leadership and the ability to work with Republicans. This is more important than ever, with hunger escalating because of conflict around the globe. 

There are hungry victims of wars in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Ukraine, South Sudan and the African nations affected by Boko Haram’s reign of terror. Drought has also struck Africa and Central America, causing severe food shortages. Hurricane Matthew has left Haiti reeling — food aid will be needed for months to help with recovery.

Clinton is the leader we need to face this global challenge. She understands how critical an issue hunger is.

Secretary of State Clinton warned that “Massive hunger poses a threat to the stability of governments, societies, and borders. People who are starving, who have no incomes, who can’t care for their families, are left with feelings of hopelessness and desperation. And so we know that desperation of that magnitude sows seeds of its own—of tension, conflict”

As secretary of State, Clinton helped start the Feed the Future initiative to help small farmers around the globe. Recent bipartisan actions by Congress have started to increase support for the Feed the Future plan.

Empowering farmers is the key to ending hunger. This improves a nation’s ability to increase its own food production, to become self-sufficient. This is just the program that will need expansion in the coming years, to bring food security and stability to all nations.

For her support of Feed the Future, Clinton received the George McGovern Leadership Award from World Food Program USA.

The International Food Policy Research Institute said Clinton, as secretary, showed an “unwavering commitment to raising the profile of hunger and poverty in the developing world as well as in the United States.”

That is just the person we want as president: someone who understands that food is peace. Clinton is also a leader who can continue the bipartisan support against hunger. It is an issue where Democrats and Republicans have come together historically.

President Harry Truman worked with Republican Herbert Hoover to fight hunger after World War II. Republican Dwight Eisenhower and Democrat John F. Kennedy both showed great initiative in building the Food for Peace program to fight world hunger. Democrat George McGovern and Republican Bob Dole had a partnership that lasted for decades and even have a school lunch program in their name.

The McGovern-Dole Global Food for Education Initiative was launched during Bill Clinton’s second term. It could grow further yet if Hillary Clinton were to become president.

School meals feed children and give them the strength to learn. We need to provide school meals, especially to children affected by conflict. As World Food Programme Director Ertharin Cousin said of Syria’s child war victims “If we fail to provide the school meals which bring children back to school and keep them in school, we will miss the opportunity to teach them different lessons than this conflict teaches.”

At a time of unprecedented levels of displacement and hunger, Hillary Clinton is the right leader at the right time. Clinton is the best choice for president and can provide the leadership to fight world hunger and other injustices around the globe.


William Lambers is an Ohio-based author who partnered with the United Nations World Food Programme on the book “Ending World Hunger.” His writings have appeared on History News Network, The Huffington Post, Cincinnati Enquirer, The New York Times and other news outlets.

The views expressed by contributors are their own and not the views of The Hill.


Tags Bill Clinton Hillary Clinton Lindsey Graham

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