The appeal is designed to achieve WFP’s goal of expanding its scheme of free school lunches for poor children from its current base of 16 million pupils to 50 million by 2007.Dubbed the “19-cents-a-day campaign,” the drive was launched at UN Headquarters in New York last night by George McGovern, a goodwill ambassador for the WFP and a former United States Senator and presidential candidate.The WFP says providing free school lunches not only reduces hunger, but also increases school attendance rates in many poor countries. “On a full stomach, a student’s ability to concentrate and learn is dramatically improved,” the agency said in a statement accompanying the launch.Mr. McGovern said school lunches also help to better the world today because it reduces poverty, “a fertile breeding ground for the Osama bin Ladens.”For his part, WFP Executive Director James Morris said, “Over the holiday season we are hoping that people take time to reflect on the challenges faced by the severely poor.”

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