The Grocery Manufacturers of America today honored three of its major partners in the fight against hunger “to recognize the critical role they play in eradicating hunger and combating malnutrition.”

At a GMA-sponsored luncheon held during the National Nutrition Summit, GMA presented awards of recognition to Deborah Leff, President & CEO, America’s Second Harvest; John Morrill, Executive Director, CONGRESSIONAL HUNGER CENTER; and James Weill, President, Food Research and Action Center.

“These three groups, in different ways, play a unique role in the war on hunger,” said C. Manly Molpus, GMA President and CEO. “GMA and its member companies are very proud of the relationships we have with each of these organizations, including service on their boards of directors.

“The food, beverage, and consumer products industry is committing millions of dollars in working to stamp out hunger in America and around the world. It is through partnerships with anti-hunger organizations, food banks, food rescue centers, soup kitchens, and other charitable groups that we can make real progress fighting hunger-related problems that affect millions of people.”

Through a network of more than 200 food banks and food-rescue programs, America’s Second Harvest (www.secondharvest.org) distributes food to 26 million hungry Americans each year, eight million of whom are children. Last year, America’s Second Harvest distributed one billion pounds of food to needy Americans, serving all 50 states and Puerto Rico.

Congressmen Tony Hall, Bill Emerson, and Frank Wolf founded the non-profit Congressional Hunger Center (www.hungercenter.org) in 1993 when the U.S. Congress voted to abolish its own House Select Committee on Hunger. The CHC’s largest hunger leadership initiative, the Beyond Food AmeriCorps Program, consists of 80 outstanding community hunger-fighters working in the Mississippi Delta, the State of Vermont, the city of Milwaukee, and in Washington, D.C.

The Food Research and Action Center (www.frac.org) is a leading national organization working to improve public policies to eradicate hunger and under- nutrition in the United States. Founded in 1970 as a public interest law firm, Frac is a nonprofit and nonpartisan research and public policy center that serves as the hub of an anti-hunger network of thousands of individuals and agencies across the country.

GMA is the world’s largest association of food, beverage and consumer product companies. With U.S. sales of more than $460 billion, GMA members employ more than 2.5 million workers in all 50 states. The organization applies legal, scientific and political expertise from its member companies to vital food, nutrition and public policy issues affecting the industry. Led by a board of 42 Chief Executive Officers, GMA speaks for food and consumer product manufacturers at the state, federal and international levels on legislative and regulatory issues. The association also leads efforts to increase productivity, efficiency and growth in the food, beverage and consumer products industry.