Feeding the world is a driving motivation for many agricultural producers. The U.S. wheat industry is a champion of food aid programs that allow our high-quality wheat to reach those who otherwise would likely go without.
U.S. government food aid is distributed by private voluntary organizations around the world. A broad spectrum of American society participates in the giving and handling of food aid, including the farming, processing, transportation and distribution industries.
By using American-grown food in food aid, American hands and American infrastructure are involved throughout the entire operation, and we can ensure and stand by the quality of the food that is delivered.
The United States donates more food aid than the rest of the world combined. In 2011, 46 percent of all U.S. food-aid donations were wheat, and 40 percent of all food-aid donations worldwide were wheat.
Keep the Food in Food Aid
U.S. wheat farmers support the current food aid system that includes a full range of options to help feed the hungry and help countries attain lasting and sustainable food security.
NAWG and U.S. Wheat Associates support in-kind food aid and believe that any use of local and regional procurement should not detract from our ability to respond to emergency needs with in-kind food aid.
U.S. food aid programs have enjoyed strong bipartisan support for nearly 60 years because they work. Our country has the largest, most diverse, most reliable and most effective food assistance program in the world. Food for Peace forms the backbone of those efforts.
Food Aid Funding
President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2014 budget proposal eliminates the Food for Peace program, an important, longstanding and successful food aid program that is a proven model for addressing global food insecurity. The proposal would replace the gold standard of international food aid with cash for procurement of foreign commodities overseas.
Under Food for Peace, there are well-honed and dependable systems for identifying the appropriate commodities for targeted populations and for procuring and shipping these commodities.
Food for Peace also has a strong track record of reducing child malnutrition, increasing incomes and increasing food supplies for very poor and vulnerable populations. It is a proven model for addressing global food insecurity, which also promotes our own national security.
The U.S. wheat industry, guided by the U.S. Wheat Associates Food Aid Working Group (FAWG), is committed to global food assistance and encourages a program that includes the full range of options to help countries attain lasting and sustainable food security.
Specifically, the industry’s commitment is guided by the following resolutions:
- Support funding of P.L. 480 Title II food assistance programs at $2.5 billion, the full amount authorized by law.
- Support a strong, flexible U.S. food aid program that contains both in-kind donations and monetization.
- Support evaluating lessons from the Local and Regional Purchase (LRP) pilot study prior to implementing additional LRP programs.
- Support funding and implementation of LRP programs through the Foreign Disaster Assistance Act and USAID, respectively, rather than through USDA.
- Support USDA administration of Food for Progress programs.
- Support the U.S. government’s agricultural development initiatives as a supplement to existing emergency humanitarian assistance programs such as P.L. 480 Title II programs.