The Gene White Lifetime Achievement
Award for Child Nutrition

The Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition was created in 2004 to honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the worldwide dream of ending childhood hunger. This prestigious award is given in the name of Gene White, who has dedicated her life to the nutrition and well-being of children. Over many decades, Gene has worked tirelessly in her efforts to improve the lives, health, and educational options of children in our country and around the world. Gene was the first to receive this award.

Each year, corporate executives, high level government officials, and non-profit leaders gather to honor the Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and to celebrate the achievements in the related realms of school meal programs, nutrition, and agriculture.

2018 Award Recipient

Senator Pat Roberts

GCNF presented the 2018 Gene White Lifetime Achievement Award for Child Nutrition to U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.  On March 7, GCNF hosted a luncheon to celebrate Chairman Roberts’ outstanding work to support child nutrition at home and around the world.

As Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, Roberts has been a strong supporter of child nutrition programs that ensure the next generation has access to nutrition that allows them to learn and thrive in school. Chairman Roberts is dedicated to maintaining the bipartisan tradition that has been key to the success of national child nutrition programs in the United States. Chairman Roberts supports global food security programs, like the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition or Food for Progress, that help countries become more food secure, improve living conditions, and expand markets for farmers.

Learn more about the March 7 award luncheon with Chairman Roberts.


  • 2017 Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of African Development Bank Group
  • 2016 Howard G. Buffett, Chairman and CEO, Howard G. Buffett Foundation
  • 2015 Secretary Tom Vilsack, U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • 2014 Dr. Rajiv Shah, Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development
  • 2013 Arlene Mitchell, Deputy Director for Access and Markets, Agricultural Development Program, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • 2012 Ambassador Tony P. Hall, Executive Director, Alliance to End Hunger
  • 2011 Richard Lugar, Senator (R-IN)
  • 2010 Dan Glickman, Former Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture and US Congressman
  • 2009 Marshall L. Matz, Principal Attorney, Olsson Frank Weeda Terman Bode Matz P.C.
  • 2008 Edward M. Cooney, Executive Director of the Congressional Hunger Center
  • 2007 Catherine Bertini, Former Executive Director of the World Food Programme
  • 2006 Dr. Josephine Martin, Past President of SNA and Executive Director of the NFSMI
  • 2005 George S. McGovern, Senator (D-SD) and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Agencies on Food and Agriculture; Robert J. Dole, Senator (R-KS)
  • 2004 Gene White, President, Global Child Nutrition Foundation