Riley Children’s Foundation Doubles the Impact

Posted: December 11, 2015 by Ty Gerig
INDIANAPOLIS – Civic and business leader Jim Morris was awarded the 2015 Daniels Prize for his lifetime efforts to push against the status quo to improve the lives of Hoosiers at the Mitch Daniels Leadership Foundation dinner December 10.  As the Daniels Prize winner, Morris could select the recipient of a $100,000 grant, and he chose the Indy Hunger Network, with the grant funds to be used to enable a collaboration to eliminate child hunger and increase infant health in Central Indiana.  Doubling the impact, the Riley Children’s Foundation announced a second contribution of $100,000 via the Mitch Daniels Leadership Foundation to support efforts related to the collaboration.
The Indy Hunger Network is a volunteer-led group of organizations in Greater Indianapolis that promotes access for all to nutritious food through a sustainable hunger relief system.  Morris’ selection of the Network aims to further close the hunger gap in the region by supporting the Network’s collaboration with others to put a special focus on prenatal and infant nutrition.
“We are pleased Jim has chosen an organization that embodies his leadership to drive constructive change that improves the lives of Hoosier citizens, from birth on,” said Harry L. Gonso, president of the Mitch Daniels Leadership Foundation. “The Hunger Network partners are well positioned to work in collaboration with local, regional and state health providers and civic resources to eliminate the impact hunger has on infant health.”
The Hunger Network is chaired by Dave Miner, who has dedicated more than 30 years to reducing hunger. Previously an executive at Eli Lilly and Company and Elanco, Miner has served in leadership capacities at several local and national anti-hunger organizations including Interfaith Hunger Initiative, Bread for the World, and the Alliance to End Hunger.
“I’m deeply honored that Jim has chosen the Indy Hunger Network to further his vision of solving the child hunger issue,” Miner said. “The partners in the Indy Hunger Network have made dramatic progress, both individually and collectively, towards providing enough healthy meals for all who need them. This award will enable exciting new collaborations to tackle one of the most important of actions – assuring good nutrition for mothers and their infants.”
A group of corporate, healthcare and nonprofit leaders already has met several times over the last few months to delve more deeply into collaborative efforts to leverage their knowledge, resources and reach to address the hunger issues involved in infant health.
Morris was selected to receive the Daniels Prize by a jury of eight distinguished men and women leaders assembled by the Foundation and chaired by Randall Shepard, former Chief Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court. He has impacted Indiana and the world throughout his professional life. Most notably, Morris served as executive director of the United Nations World Food Programme from 2002-2007 in Rome, Italy. As the world’s largest humanitarian agency, the World Food Programme works to fight hunger and enhance nutrition for the poor. 

During his leadership, Morris visited more than 80 countries and addressed numerous international meetings to address ways to reduce hunger on behalf of the poor, especially children.
Morris also has worked to improve Indiana through his leadership in the corporate, nonprofit and government sectors. For nearly 10 years, Morris has served in various leadership roles at Pacers Sports & Entertainment, which annually brings two million people to Indianapolis and hosts more than 500 events. He previously was president of Lilly Endowment Inc. (1984-1988); chairman and CEO of IWC Resources Corporation and Indianapolis Water Company (1989-2002); and chief of staff for former Indianapolis Mayor Richard G. Lugar (1967-1973).
Jury members who made the selection include former U.S. Representative Lee Hamilton; Reverend John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., President of Notre Dame; Clark Kellogg, former member of the Indiana Pacers; former Indiana Governor Joe Kernan; Martha Lamkin, civic leader and former CEO of Lumina Foundation; former U.S. Senator Richard G. Lugar; Pat Miller, civic leader and founder of Vera Bradley; and Woodrow A. Myers, Jr., M.D., M.B.A.
For more information on the Mitch Daniels Leadership Prize, please visit our website here or go to

About the Mitch Daniels Leadership Foundation
The Mitch Daniels Leadership Foundation was created in affirmation of the service and results of Mitch Daniels as Indiana’s 49th governor.  The purpose of the Foundation is to encourage leadership that refuses to accept the status quo, constantly aims higher, and executes to lift the circumstances of the people, and the arc of progress, of Indiana.

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