“President Benson Receives Humanitarian Award,” Ensign, Apr. 1992, 75
Receiving recognition for more than forty years of service, President Ezra Taft Benson became the first recipient of the National Charity Awards Dinner’s Humanitarian Lifetime Award.
Doug Wead, cofounder of NCAD, presented the award to President Benson. “The Humanitarian Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes exceptional accomplishments by a single individual on behalf of his fellow man,” Wead explained. Other humanitarian awards have been given for service rendered in a specific year.
“In 1946, Mr. Benson covered 102 European cities, many destroyed by the war, in 105 days, reaching out to those suffering from the ravages of World War II,” said Wead, recapping the beginning of President Benson’s extensive years of government and Church service. “As a result of his persistence, food, clothing, bedding, and medical supplies were delivered to thousands of victims who were most in need.”
President Benson’s eight years as secretary of agriculture were mentioned, including his authorization to ship U.S. food surpluses to Italy to relieve shortages.
Wead also explained that President Eisenhower’s Food for Peace program, which used farm surpluses to establish and reinforce friendly ties with foreign nations, was formulated by President Benson. The program influenced humanitarian efforts and economic development in more than eighty countries.
Wead also congratulated President Benson for the LDS job placement program, which has placed nearly three hundred thousand people in jobs during the last six years.
President Benson, accompanied by President Gordon B. Hinckley and President Thomas S. Monson of the First Presidency, received the award on January 16 in Salt Lake City.