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USDA Highlights the Life-changing Impact of the McGovern-Dole Program on African Day of School Feeding

Maputo, Mozambique, March 1, 2024 – Today U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small visited Mungazine Primary School in Mozambique, a USDA-supported school and school garden through the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program. During the school visit, the Deputy Secretary met with Mozambique Minister of Education Carmelita Rita Namashulua, along with representatives from Counterpart International (USDA’s implementing partner), school staff, students, and community leaders to help celebrate African Day of School Feeding, a day observed across the continent as a way for African countries to commit to and promote school feeding as a strategy to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.

“The African Union has proclaimed 2024 as The Year of Education and I have seen that in action today at Mungazine Primary School as we celebrated the African Day of School Feeding,” said Deputy Secretary Torres Small. “Hearing the staff and students’ stories this afternoon was a clear reminder as to why school meal programs are so crucial for so many students in Mozambique, across Africa, at home in the United States, and around the world. Since its inception, the USDA McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program has provided more than 3.7 billion meals across 25 African countries and helped reduce hunger and improve literacy and primary education for more than 20 million people on the continent.”

McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program

USDA Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small visits the Mungazine Primary School in Mozambique

Video Recap

The McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program helps support education, child development and food security in low-income, food-deficit countries around the globe. The program provides for the donation of U.S. agricultural commodities, as well as financial and technical assistance, to support school feeding and maternal and child nutrition projects. The key objective of the McGovern-Dole Program is to reduce hunger and improve literacy and primary education, especially for girls.

The Impact of the McGovern-Dole Program across Africa, by the Numbers

  • Since the McGovern-Dole Program’s inception in 2002, the Program has:
    • Supported projects in 25 African countries.
    • Reached more than 20 million beneficiaries across Africa.
    • Served more than 3.7 billion meals in African schools.
  • In Fiscal Year 2023, the McGovern-Dole Program:
    • Supported projects in 21 African countries (out of a total of 33 countries worldwide).
    • Benefited 5,000 schools in Africa.
    • Reached more than 2.9 million beneficiaries across Africa.
    • Served nearly 166.4 million meals in African schools.
    • Delivered 27,880 MT of donated U.S. commodities, valued at $25.1 million, to African countries.
    • Donated the following U.S. commodities to projects in Africa: Corn-Soy Blend Plus, Cornmeal, Black Beans, Pinto Beans, Pea Beans, Great Northern Beans, Fortified Rice, Green and Yellow Split Peas, Lentils, Bulgur, Emergency FD SF-LNS Pouch, Emergency FD LNS-MQ Pouch, Vegetable Oil and Sunflower Seed Oil.

USDA Forest Service International Program

USDA Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small visits the Mangrove Restoration and Community Livelihood Project site implemented by USDA Forest Service

While in Mozambique, Torres Small also took part in a field visit to see how the USDA Forest Service promotes sustainable forest management and biodiversity conservation internationally. The Forest Service supports activities that strengthen the resilience of ecosystems and communities in 32 countries, including Mozambique. The Deputy Secretary toured a Forest Service mangrove restoration and community livelihood project along the Matola River, supported with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Mangroves are critical for coastal communities in Mozambique because they provide protection from storms and erosion of shorelines. They also play a critical role for local communities and their livelihoods as they improve soil quality for agriculture and boost the fish, shrimp, and crab habitat to provide food sources. In addition, technical assistance from the Forest Service, Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM), and SATHUMA, a local community-based organization, supported the establishment of a mangrove nursery, which provides stock used in mangrove restoration campaigns within Maputo Bay and the Limpopo Estuary.

USDA Agribusiness Trade Mission to Angola

Deputy Secretary Torres Small is accompanied by U.S.-based State Departments of Agriculture, State and Regional Trade Groups, and Cooperators in a group shot

Earlier in the week, Torres Small led a diverse U.S. delegation of representatives and leaders from state departments of agriculture, commodity and regional trade groups, and agribusinesses on USDA’s first trade mission to Angola. Sub-Saharan Africa is both promising and often over-looked, and the USDA trade mission to Angola presented an incredible prospect for U.S. food and agriculture exporters to expand and explore new business opportunities. Over the course of three days, USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service arranged more than 120 business-to-business meetings for U.S. exporters and foreign buyers. Those meetings already resulted in approximately $18.3 million of on-site and 12-month projected sales of U.S. food and agricultural products.

Government-to-Government Meetings

USDA Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small is greeted by Augusta de Carvalho Fortes, State Secretary for Commerce and Services of Angola

While in Angola, Torres Small participated in bilateral meetings with the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry and the Minister of Industry and Commerce.

Site Visit to Newaco Grupo SA Cold Storage Facility

USDA Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small tours the Newaco Grupo SA cold storage facility

Torres Small also visited the Newaco Grupo SA cold storage facility. Located in the Angolan capital of Luanda, Newaco is one of the largest wholesale frozen food importers and distributors in the country. The company regularly imports U.S. poultry (mainly chicken legs quarters) and beef liver for distribution through its subsidiaries, wholesalers, retailers, and major supermarkets, hyper market, hotels, and restaurants throughout Angola.

Retail Promotion at Fresmart

USDA Deputy Secretary Xochitl Torres Small meets with Fresmart supermarket employees

Another highlight of the Angola agribusiness trade mission was a tour of the Fresmart supermarket in Kilamba. Fresmart opened its first store in 2017 and has quickly expanded to 45 locations. The retail chain is aimed at middle- and high-income Angolan consumers, even offering an app to order and receive grocery deliveries. For the Deputy Secretary’s visit, the retailer partnered with USDA, the U.S. Poultry and Egg Export Council, and the U.S. Meat Export Federation on a promotion to showcase U.S. poultry and beef liver. With the help of an Angolan chef, Torres Small participated in a cooking demonstration that incorporated American ingredients into traditional and delicious Angolan dishes.

Additional photos are available at USDA Dep. Sec. Torres Small Angola Trip | Flickr, Mungazine Primary School in Mozambique | Flickr and high quality video is available for download at


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