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Tell Washington to Stop Wasting Our Food Aid Dollars

Tell Washington to Stop Wasting Our Food Aid Dollars

NOTE: This is a guest post from Victoria Marzilli, a New Media Specialist at Oxfam America.

Is food aid just a game to politicians in Washington? The way the US Food Aid system works now, you might think so. Only 0.05% of the Federal budget goes to food aid programs; in 2010, that aid helped save the lives of about 65 million people in 48 countries. Helping hungry people during food crises is essential not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it reduces instability around the world and protects the most vulnerable communities from catastrophe.

But the current US food aid system is broken and needs to be fixed. Of the money we spend on food aid, more than half (53 percent) is wasted because of special interest regulations — like buying food from preferred US growers and shipping overseas on preferred US vessels — instead of helping the people who need it most.

With last year’s drought and subsequent food crisis in West Africa, shouldn’t we make sure our food aid dollars are being used wisely to prevent crises like this from recurring? There is a way. If we buy food aid locally in developing countries, more money goes to actual food, local farmers earn income, and people need less aid for the long term. This also eliminates the expenses of buying from costly growers, and shipping overseas. If we reform costly US regulations, we can respond to crises up to 14 weeks faster — and for the same price, we can reach up to 17.1 million more people with lifesaving food aid.

Fixing the system seems like a no-brainer, but in order to make these changes happen, we as Americans need to make sure our legislators hear us loud and clear. We need to tell them to stop playing with other people’s food! And we have the opportunity to do that right now. The food aid regulations are a part of the US Farm Bill, which is up for debate in Congress this summer, so the time is now to make your voice heard.

Join Oxfam America in calling on Congress to cut the red tape in the Farm Bill and reform the food aid system. Watch this video, below, and share it with your friends. Then tell Congress to stop playing with other people’s food. We grow enough food on this planet to ensure everyone has enough to eat, but political obstacles, like unnecessary food aid regulations, get in the way.

Go to www.oxfamamerica.org/foodaid to take action.


Oxfam America is an international relief and development organization that creates lasting solutions to poverty, hunger, and injustice. To join our efforts or learn more, go to www.oxfamamerica.org.

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Photo by Hill Holliday / Oxfam America

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33 comments

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9:00PM PDT on Apr 16, 2012

Signed with thanks~♥

8:10PM PDT on Apr 16, 2012

So Corporations are screwing over the food supply so what is new??? People are starving so a handful can line their pockets, same old, same old.
There is not ONE problem that we cannot connect to the greedy SOBs paying off our government officials, not ONE!!!

Corporate America where Socialism means taking from the 99% to hand feed to the 1%. There is no reason for anyone to know hunger, thirst or to be homeless except the greedy want it ALL!!!

6:50PM PDT on Apr 16, 2012

tks

11:51AM PDT on Apr 16, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

10:12AM PDT on Apr 16, 2012

Me, I'd just give it as a Carrot to the North Koreans AND Irani's & leave it at that.
On condition they stop their Nuclear Dreams.

Giving it to other nations like e.g. Haiti has had a very negative effect.

7:17AM PDT on Apr 16, 2012

Charity should start at the home country and then abroad!

9:24PM PDT on Apr 15, 2012

interesting article

6:49AM PDT on Apr 15, 2012

Done. Thanks!

2:35AM PDT on Apr 15, 2012

Message sent. Thanks.

10:49PM PDT on Apr 14, 2012

We have the food and money to help both American children and ones in other countries, IF we are smart about it, instead of supporting ONLY certain American companies and ships.

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Thank you for this very interesting article.

@ Dennis Whoomp there it is. Goodies for you. :)

Republican waste of tax payer monies for nothing, making sure there is no money for the important things.…

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