Photo: Tim Shenk/CWS
Urge Congress to improve international food aid so that it reaches more hungry people more quickly and better supports their efforts to strengthen local food systems.
Unlike other donor countries, the vast majority of U.S. food donations must be purchased, processed and transported by American companies. This costs much more than purchasing it from farmers in the country or region where it is needed. In fact, recent data show that about 21 percent of our food aid budget is consumed by shipping costs.
Food shipped from the U.S. also takes longer to arrive, which can be a matter of life or death for people facing a famine or other crisis.
A more flexible approach gets food to those in need much more quickly, uses taxpayer dollars more efficiently and reduces greenhouse gas emissions associated with long-distance shipping. Most importantly, it helps local and regional farmers grow their production capacity – which supports the U.S. long-term agricultural development goals, including those in the Feed the Future initiative.
Instead of passing a new Farm bill – which must be renewed every four years – Congress has extended provisions of the existing bill through the end of September. But they will be working to create and pass a 4-year Farm bill by then.
Contact your Senators and Representatives, asking them to use the opportunity provided in the Farm Bill to reform how the U.S. does emergency food assistance.
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