Invitation to GCNF’s A Possible Dream Gala

Join the Global Child Nutrition Foundation (GCNF) the evening of Monday, March 4, 2013 for our 10th annual A Possible Dream Gala. This year we will be honoring Arlene Mitchell, Deputy Director of Agricultural Development at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Please follow the links below to read further information on the event as well as reserve your attendance. If you have any questions regarding the Gala, do not hesitate to contact Erica Davies at either (301) 686-3104 or edavies@schoolnutrition.org.

2013 A Possible Dream Gala Invitation
2013 A Possible Dream Gala RSVP


GCNF Announces 2013 Winston LAC Policy Scholar

GCNF is honored to announce that this year’s Winston LAC Policy Scholar will be Momodou Sanneh, Deputy Permanent Secretary (Programs), Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, The Gambia.  Momodou has served extensively in his country’s education sector, where he pays particular attention to policy development.  Momodou attended the 2012 Global Child Nutrition Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and was an active delegate.

The scholarship entitles Momodou to attend the School Nutrition Association’s 41st annual Legislative Action Conference (LAC) this March, as well as share his experiences with nearly 500 attendees at GCNF’s 10th annual A Possible Dream Gala the evening of Monday, March 4, 2013.  GCNF thanks Winston Industries for making this scholarship possible.


GCNF’s annual A Possible Dream Gala honors outstanding champions of child nutrition. Each year, three awards are granted: the Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition; the School Nutrition Association (SNA) Individual Industry Member of the Year; and the SNA Outstanding Director of the Year. Over 500 executives come together—from industry, SNA, international NGOs, the U.S. Congress, USAID, USDA, and other key agencies working to reduce hunger—to network and exchange ideas. The Gala raises awareness of global hunger and helps GCNF’s to build sustainable school feeding projects in developing countries.

Interested in sponsoring the 2013 Gala? View information here

2013 A Possible Dream Gala

This year’s Gala, GCNF’s 10th annual, will take place on Monday, March 4, 2013, in Washington, D.C., at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. The Gala is attended by over 500 executives from our most supportive industries, School Nutrition Association (SNA) officers and directors, and high level government and NGO officials. The highlight of the evening will be the presentation of the prestigious Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition to Arlene Mitchell, formerly Chief of School Feeding for the World Food Programme and currently Deputy Director of Agricultural Department in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

In addition, GCNF will honor SNA’s Industry Member of the Year, Barbara Jirka, PhD, SNS, formerly Sr. Manager, Customer Marketing for McCain Foods, USA and currently on the staff of USDA’s Food and Nutrition Services, and SNA’s Outstanding Director of the Year, Sherri Knutson, Student Nutrition Services Coordinator for Rochester Public Schools, MN.

Make your pledge to ending childhood hunger today and mail in your sponsorship commitment form. Proceeds from this event enable GCNF to provide technical assistance to countries so that they can develop and expand their unique school feeding programs. Appropriately designed school feeding programs have been shown to increase access to education and learning while improving children’s health and nutrition.

Please join us once again as we honor the advocates of child nutrition on Monday, March 4, 2013. If you have any questions regarding the Gala, please contact GCNF Senior Program Manager, Erica Davies, at either edavies@schoolnutrition.org or (301) 686-3104.

2012 A Possible Dream Gala

Circle Monday, March 5, 2012, on your calendar to join GCNF in a celebration of the 2011 champions of child nutrition at the 9th annualA Possible Dream Gala. Make your pledge to ending childhood hunger today and mail in your sponsorship commitment form. Proceeds from this event enable GCNF to provide technical assistance to countries with expanding and developing school feeding programs.  Appropriately designed school feeding programs have been shown to increase access to education and learning while improving children’s health and nutrition. Your continued support of GCNF and commitment to ending childhood hunger actually makes a difference in the lives of the world’s children.

As a direct result of GCNF’s technical assistance provided during the annual Global Forum, Mali’s government leaders worked with the Ministry of Education and other agencies in 2009 to draft a national policy that included a five-year plan for 3,000 government-assisted school canteens. In November 2009 the Council of Ministers committed to a five-year plan, strengthening and extending the school feeding program financed by national and territorial governments, technical and financial partners. At the 2010 Forum in Ghana, delegates reported successful collaborations and the impressive fact that 15.4 percent of school children are now receiving meals during the school day.

The Gala is attended by over 500 executives from our most supportive industries, School Nutrition Association officers and directors, and high level government and NGO officials. The highlight of the evening will be the presentation of the prestigious Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition to Ambassador Tony P. Hall, Executive Director, Alliance to End Hunger. In addition, GCNF will honor the School Nutrition Association’s (SNA) Industry Member of the Year, Tony Roberts, Proprietor of the Tony Roberts Company and SNA’s Outstanding Director of the Year, Lyman Graham, Director, Roswell Independent School District, Carlsbad Municipal Schools and Dexter Consolidated Schools, New Mexico.

School feeding programs provide nourishment to impoverished children who are then encouraged to attend school, are alert while they are in school, and through their education, go on to become self-sufficient, contributing citizens in their countries. Please join us once again as we honor the champions of child nutrition on Monday, March 5, 2012.

* Please view the Press Release for more information.

2011 A Possible Dream Gala

The “A Possible Dream” Gala was hailed as the best yet; reaching a record goal of raising $325,000 for school feeding programs worldwide. Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium was the spectacular host of the Gala and drew much praise from attendees. The evening began with a cocktail reception hour where guests were able to mix and mingle before the night gave way. Following cocktails, attendees were escorted into the ballroom where the program began with a warm welcome from Global Child Nutrition Foundation (GCNF) President Gene White; and Masters of Ceremonies, Susan Neely, President & CEO of the American Beverage Association and the Honorable Dan Glickman. Nearly 600 people were in attendance to honor Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) as he received the 2011 Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition.

Senator Richard G. Lugar

The Gala brought together executives and advocates alike, from members of Congress, USAID and USDA to international non-profit organizations, industry, the School Nutrition Association (SNA) and other key agencies, for an evening dedicated to honoring champions of child nutrition. This memorable event is held annually and raises both awareness and funds for GCNF’s efforts to combat global child hunger through sustainable school feeding programs. GCNF is grateful to the many sponsors and donors who came together to raise even more funding than last year. These gifts total a $55,000 increase over last year, a nod to the strengthened commitment of ending child hunger even despite the difficult economy.

The evening’s highlight was the presentation of the Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition to Senator Lugar, long-time champion of child nutrition causes. During his acceptance speech, Senator Lugar stated, “This really is a privilege to be with each one of you tonight, who I consider to be heroes, for providing nutrition for children.”

Dr. Rajiv Shah, USAID Administrator, praised Senator Lugar for his achievements and described him as “a tremendous example”, and added, “As I look around this room and see all of the people who have the ability to actually solve world hunger, I am inspired.” Dr. Shah was not the only one to feel inspired by the efforts of Senator Lugar. Dan Glickman noted, “If we look to the history of this country … and if you look at the great US Senators of the last 100 years or so, and I say this with all the humility I can muster, Dick Lugar is one of those exceptionally great members of the Senate who have served this country with distinction, with fairness, with civility, but with strong beliefs and strong opinions. I’m not saying there aren’t great people like him, there are, but he is exceptional.”

GCNF Delegate, Bibi Giyose, also gave a profoundly touching speech, recalling her childhood in Botswana, “I am a product of a school feeding program … having not had that opportunity, I would not be standing here today, just another statistic – having been forgotten – worse still – buried. But I must say, even as I stand here today, I shutter to imagine how many children in Africa wake up hungry, go to school hungry and go to bed famished.”
Two distinguished advocates for child nutrition were recognized by Nancy Rice, SNA President. Mary Kate Harrison, SNA 2010 Outstanding Director of the Year, was praised for her commitment to SNA and her dynamic school nutrition career in Florida. Jill Conklin received the SNA 2010 Individual Industry Member of the Year Award for her dedication to global child nutrition efforts and serving as an exemplary industry member who keeps the needs of school nutrition professionals and the children they serve in the forefront.

Guests at the 2011 A Possible Dream Gala were entertained throughout the evening by the Taimoor Band, a lively trio lead by Taimoor Saeedi.

GCNF is grateful to the following individuals for their dedication as members of the 2011 Gala Committee. GCNF would like to extend our sincere gratitude to those individuals for their role in making the 2011 A Possible Dream Gala a great success!

Jim Clough, Co-Chair
Susan Neely, Co-Chair
Katharine Emerson
Jean D. Harris, Ph.D.
Eileen T. Kennedy, D.Sc., R.D.
Colin Sheridan
Mary Vonck
Barbara S. Belmont

The Gala also received media attention, the links are provided below.

washingtonscene.thehill.com/party-events-pictures/archive/8553-global-child-nutrition-foundations-annual-gala

lugar.senate.gov/news/record.cfm?id=331720&&

food-management.com/news_briefs/harrison_conklin_sna_awards0315/

The Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition

The Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition was created in 2004 to honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the worldwide dream of ending childhood hunger. This prestigious award is given in the name of Gene White, who has dedicated her life to the nutrition and well-being of children. Over many decades, Gene has worked tirelessly in her efforts to improve the lives, health, and educational options of children in our country and around the world.

Past Distinguished Recipients:

  • 2012 Ambassador Tony P. Hall,
    Executive Director, Alliance to End Hunger
  • 2011 Richard Lugar,
    Senator (R-IN)
  • 2010 Dan Glickman,
    Former Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture and US Congressman
  • 2009 Marshall L. Matz,
    Principal Attorney, Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Bode Matz P.C.
  • 2008 Edward M. Cooney,
    Executive Director of the Congressional Hunger Center
  • 2007 Catherine Bertini,
    Former Executive Director of the World Food Programme
  • 2006 Dr. Josephine Martin,
    Past President of SNA and Executive Director of the NFSMI
  • 2005 George S. McGovern,
    Senator (D-SD) and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Agencies on Food and Agriculture
    Robert J. Dole,
    Senator (R-KS)
  • 2004 Gene White,
    President, Global Child Nutrition Foundation
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