McGovern Hunger Ambassador Award goes to Lehmann

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Poster for South Dakota Hunger Summit

The South Dakota Hunger Summit awarded the Rev. Erika Lehmann, of Dimock, with this year’s McGovern Hunger Ambassador Award during the annual conference at Dakota Wesleyan University Nov. 8.

Lehmann is the pastor at St. John Lutheran Church in Dimock, has been the chairperson of the South Dakota Synod Hunger Task Force for 25 years and promotes the ELCA Hunger Appeal. She also awards, on an annual basis, the “Holy Cow” award to both the biggest and smallest congregations that have done exemplary work with their efforts in hunger relief. 

According to those who nominated her: “What stands out is Pastor Erika’s continued deeply held passion for raising awareness and commitment to ending hunger and inviting congregations to participate in the ELCA’s Hunger Campaign.” 

The McGovern Hunger Ambassador Award was created to recognize South Dakotans who exemplify the same passion for ending hunger as George McGovern showed in his life’s work both home and abroad.

The other nominees included: Ed Nebola, manager of the Gregory Food Bank in Gregory; and the Mitchell Area Food Pantry staff. 

The South Dakota Hunger Summit brings people of all ages and professions together to discuss food security issues within their own communities as well as world hunger topics and how to address them. This year, M.J. Altman was the keynote speaker. Altman is the editorial director for World Food Program USA, and the host and co-creator of “Hacking Hunger.” Altman has been a part of many hunger initiatives worldwide.

The Hunger Summit is sponsored by the McGovern Center at Dakota Wesleyan University along with partners: Partners Against Hunger, Feeding South Dakota, Midwest Dairy Council, South Dakota State University Extension, and U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development.