USDA says more than 72,000 tons of ag commodities ($100-million value) will be allocated under USDA's McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program for fiscal year 2009 to assist children, women, and school communities in 15 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

"The McGovern-Dole program has touched the lives of millions of the world's children, providing nutritious meals so that they can focus on their studies, not their hunger," USDA Secretary Ed Schafer says.

The allocation will feed nearly 500,000 children in new programs in three developing countries in addition to recent allocations to more than 3 million children in 12 countries. The program helps support education, child development and food security in low-income, food-deficit countries committed to universal education. To date, the McGovern-Dole program has provided meals to more than 22 million children in 41 countries and boosted school attendance by an estimated 14% overall, and by 17% for girls.

Administered by USDA's Foreign Ag Service, view a list of program allocations at: www.usda.gov/wps/portal/!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?contentidonly=true&contentid=2008/12/0312.xml. For more on the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program program, go to: www.fas.usda.gov/excredits/FFE/FFE.asp.