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Marshall Matz to Receive 2009 Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition

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For Immediate Release
Contact: Paul Alberghine
Global Child Nutrition Foundation
(703) 739-3900, ext. 126

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (January 6, 2009) – The 2009 Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition will be awarded to Mr. Marshall Matz, a leader, advocate and attorney who has spent the last 38 years pursuing a wide range of solutions to childhood hunger in the U.S. and internationally. Mr. Matz , Founding Chairman of the Friends of the World Food Programme and Partner at Olsson, Frank, Weeda, Terman, Bode, Matz, PC, Attorneys at Law in Washington, D.C., will be honored as a champion of child nutrition at the 6th annual A Possible Dream Gala on March 3, 2009, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC.  Josette Sheeran, Executive Director of the World Food Programme, and Ed Cooney, Executive Director of the Congressional Hunger Center, will be Honorary Chairs for the event.

Mr. Matz has spent his professional career raising awareness and seeking policy solutions to the causes of hunger. In the U.S., he has played an instrumental role in helping to craft five child nutrition reauthorization bills, with a focus on increasing access to school meals for all children. Internationally, through his involvement with the Friends of the World Food Programme, he has worked tirelessly to increase the organizational capacity of FWFP, particularly with regard to efforts that result in successful school feeding operations in Africa and elsewhere.

His work began with South Dakota Legal Services in the early 1970’s and progressed quickly to the halls of Congress where he first served as General Counsel to the United States Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs under then Chairman Senator George McGovern (D-S.D.). From 1978 to 1980 he transitioned to Special Counsel for the Nutrition Subcommittee of the United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, under the Chairmanship of Senator McGovern and Ranking Minority Member, Senator Bob Dole (R-Kan.).

Since the early 1980’s to the present Mr. Matz has been an attorney focusing on agriculture and nutrition issues with Olsson, Frank, Weeda, Terman, Bode, Matz, PC, Attorneys at Law – where he became a named partner in 2007. For 28 years he has worked as Washington Counsel for the School Nutrition Association advocating for strong child nutrition programs, adequate funding for the federal nutrition safety net, and nutrition standards to promote healthy childhood weight. For many years, Matz co-chaired the Child Nutrition Forum on behalf of the School Nutrition Association. The Forum is a coalition of organizations representing over 20 million members that forms during every Child Nutrition Reauthorization to advocate on behalf of children.      

From 1995 to 2008, Mr. Matz has served as both a board member and a Chairman, of the Friends of the World Food Programme. He helped lead the organization’s growth to a staff of 15 persons, with over $20 million per year in donations to the World Food Programme. He also serves on the board of the Congressional Hunger Center, the George McGovern-Bob Dole Counsel on Food and Nutrition, and the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC,) where he chaired the board from 1988 to 1993. He has spoken on hunger issues at a number of conferences and authored multiple op-ed pieces putting forth policy proposals to combat childhood hunger.

Marshall Matz will be the seventh recipient of the award, created to honor the woman for whom it was named – Gene White, an extraordinary woman who dedicates her life to children and the benefits that good nutrition can provide them.  Other recipients of this award include Senators Bob Dole and George McGovern, Dr. Josephine Martin, Edward Cooney and Catherine Bertini. 

The A Possible Dream Gala will take place during SNA’s Legislative Action Conference, which will be held from March 1-4, 2009.  This year marks the 6th anniversary of this gala event which was designed to honor champions of childhood hunger and raise awareness and funds for the Global Child Nutrition Foundation’s efforts to combat global child hunger through sustainable school feeding programs.  During the gala, two other champions of child nutrition will be honored. Rhonda DeVaux, SNS, School Nutrition Director for Irvine Unified School District in California, the 2008 National Outstanding School Nutrition Director of the Year, and Camellia Patey RD, SNS, Vice President of Schools for the National Dairy Council, the 2008 SNA Industry Member of the Year, will be recognized for their tremendous contributions to child nutrition.

The Global Child Nutrition Foundation ( is a nonprofit corporation whose mission and vision are to help the nations of the world nurture young bodies and advance young minds through the time-tested practice of school-based nutrition.  The School Nutrition Association ( is a national, non-profit professional organization representing more than 55,000 members who provide high-quality, low-cost meals to students across the country.



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