The World Food Prize Foundation

2013 Recipient

Lucille Morgan Wilson

Lucille Morgan Wilson, first recipient of the Iowa SHARES award in 2013 and dedicated hunger advocate, passed away on June 21, 2021 at Bright Kavanagh House in Des Moines, Iowa. 

Wilson’s commitment to alleviating hunger issues in Iowa stems from her childhood during the Depression. “I grew up not having much,” said Wilson. “I just think that doing what we can for other people is part of the rent we pay for being on Earth.” 

Lucille Morga​​​​​​​n Wilson dedicated countless hours of her life to organizing events around hunger issues in Des Moines. She organized the Des Moines Area Hunger Hike in 1969, which strives to increase community consciousness and concern about local and world-wide hunger and its root causes. Former president of the World Food Prize Foundation, Kenneth M. Quinn said, “Lucille has taken her passion for hunger issues and translated that into a huge annual event that has had a tremendous impact on our community, both in terms of raising visibility about hunger and raising money to help local organizations that feed hungry people.” The Des Moines Area Hunger Hike is an event where a thousand people hike to end hunger in October each year. On average, the Hunger Hike has given over $41,000 each year to local shelters and food pantries. 

When presented with the Iowa SHARES award in 2013, Wilson expressed, “I am totally humbled and shocked and speechless. Never in my wildest imagination could I have thought about it.” 

Lucille Morgan Wilson was also a gifted poet and member of the Iowa Poetry Association. For many years, her poem “In Any Language” was read at the World Food Prize Laureate Award Ceremony: 

“In Any Language”

​​​​​​​In any language hunger is an ugly word

There is no music in hunger

The rumble of empty stomachs

The monotonous whine of a child waste with disease

The moan of the mother whose baby lies bloated and still in her arms

Hunger is the listless den of apathy

Bread of weakness

The faded brown and grey of dead leaves after autumn has ebbed

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Biography

Lucille Morgan Wilson, a longtime Iowa hunger advocate and organizer of the Des Moines Area Hunger Hike, received the inaugural Iowa SHARES Award in 2013.

“We are all grateful for her leadership and dedication,” said Amb. Kenneth M. Quinn, President of the World Food Prize Foundation. 

Lucille has dedicated countless hours to organizing the Des Moines community around hunger issues, and shining a spotlight on hunger in the Des Moines area and beyond. The Des Moines Area Hunger Hike is “a thousand people hiking for hunger, once a year, to increase community consciousness and concern about local and worldwide hunger and its root causes… (working) to raise funds to be used by non-profit agencies and programs to help alleviate the problem of hunger.”

The Des Moines Area Hunger Hike was started in 1969. Over the past 22 years, over $900,000 has been given to local organizations for food purposes, an average of more than $41,000 per year. 

More information about the Des Moines Area Hunger Hike is available at www.desmoineshungerhike.org.

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