Support Food Aid Reform!

Support Food Aid Reform!

In the proposal for FY2014 food aid budget, there are reforms which will allow the U.S. to buy and distribute food aid in areas where there is need.  Traditionally, there have been restrictions that have stipulated that the food aid be bought in the USA and shipped to areas of need  – this is much more time consuming and less cost effictive.  The proposed change in food aid will not only reduce costs but will allow the government to use its budget more effectively, respond more quickly, and result in feeding 4 million more hungry children every year.  As Christians, we are called to treat our neighbors as we would like to be treated – Jesus was clear that neighbors included those across the street but also those we did not know.  Let your representatives know that this reform is important to you.
Shipping food means the government spends a substantial amount of assistance on transportation, and the food can take months to arrive. The reforms in the food aid budget will expand the flexibility in assistance response so that there will be funds to buy food locally.  Assistance will arrive where needed more quickly to avert hunger and starvation.  This flexibility will strengthen the local agricultural economies in areas of need.  Local farmers will be able to produce and sell more.  This will ultimately increase a community’s resilience to hunger.

This reform will not adversely impact North American farmers.  In fact, the majority of funds will still be for the purchase, transport and related costs of North American commodities. U.S. farmers know firsthand the difficulties of farming and do not want their commodities to displace the crops raised by small farmers overseas.  They know that small farmers overseas will not continue to produce if they cannot sell their crops and the vicious cycle of hunger will continue.

It is important that the world knows the United States cares about others and responds based on compassion.  Too often our government officials are in embassies and can see the need; they know our food assistance would make the difference between life and death; and instead of buying and distributing food they must wait months for food to arrive.

The proposed changes in food aid assistance will help to save more people as well as increase the cost-effectiveness and flexibility of our aid.

Click here to send a message today!

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