ACTION ALERT: Strengthen International Food Aid Programs in the Farm Bill

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Advocate for Robust International Food Aid in the Farm Bill

Ending hunger and malnutrition around the world is one of major challenges we face today. A 2023 report by various agencies of the United Nations show hunger rates have risen since 2019,  and estimates that 783 million people faced chronic hunger in 2022! Additionally, 36 million children under five years of age are acutely malnourished.

The Farm Bill is a critical policy tool that the United States government employs to fight global hunger. The legislation authorizes several international food aid programs, including:

  1. Food for Peace: authorizes the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to send emergency food assistance to countries facing humanitarian crises such as famine and conflict, and provides non-emergency support to these communities to enhance their resilience to hunger and malnutrition;
  2. McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Nutrition Program: provides food donations to support school meals programs and maternal and child nutrition in low and middle-income countries facing hunger. The program is managed by the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA);
  3. Food for Progress: managed by the USDA, this program helps developing countries strengthen their agricultural sectors. Under this program, donated U.S. agricultural commodities are sold locally, and the proceeds are then used to support agricultural, economic, or infrastructure development programs;
  4. Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust: authorizes the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to respond to unprecedented food crises abroad when other resources are not available.

As Lutherans we are committed to pray, work and advocate that all may have a sufficient, sustainable livelihood (ELCA Social Statement on Economic Life). Our Farm Bill advocacy reflects Christ’s love for us channeled to promote the well-being of God’s people and creation.

Urge your members of Congress to protect international food programs, while ensuring built in flexibility to allow providers to use appropriate tools when serving those in need. Flexible and efficient food aid programs mean more people can be fed and community resilience is enhanced.


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