The Farm Bill, developed by the bipartisan leadership of the Senate Agriculture Committee, helps alleviate global hunger. It is a testament to the longstanding dedication of Chairwoman Stabenow and Ranking Member Roberts who have been steadfast in their commitment to addressing hunger. We strongly support the global hunger provisions in the bill.
A Statement from Richard Leach, World Food Program USA President and CEO.
The bill builds upon the ongoing efforts of Congress and the Administration to transform the U.S. response to global hunger. It increases the sustainability of school feeding programs, improves the nutritional quality of food assistance, fosters integration of U.S. food security programs and increases the cost-effectiveness of food aid. This is a good bill for the world’s hungry people.
Increases the Sustainability of School Feeding Programs
School feeding is one of most effective tools to address hunger and promote education. To expand the impact of the global school feeding program, the bill reauthorizes the Local and Regional Procurement (LRP) Program and provides the authority to link the LRP Program to the McGovern-Dole Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, thereby allowing schools to also purchase food from local farmers. School feeding is an essential component of a nation’s safety net system. Linking school feeding programs to the purchase of food from local small scale farmers provides a market for these farmers and fosters the conditions for graduation of the school feeding program to host government management and self-sufficiency.
Improves the Nutritional Quality of U.S. Food Aid
The Donald Payne Horn of Africa Food Resilience Program supports a five-year pilot program to foster coordination among U.S. food security programs in the Horn of Africa. This program aims to:
- Reduce the need for future emergency assistance by better integrating emergency and long-term development programs;
- Reduce the impact of natural disasters and conflicts; and
- Increase the capacity of local communities to manage the impact of these societal shocks.
Increases the Cost Effectiveness of Food Aid
With this bill, the bipartisan leadership of the Senate Agriculture Committee has provided a reasonable compromise: the appropriate balance between funding for emergency and non-emergency programs within the U.S. food aid program.
- Emergency programs: Food aid continues to be the primary resource the U.S. provides to address global emergency needs. The bill continues U.S. support and further enhances the capacity of USAID to pre-position U.S. commodities so that they quickly reach hungry people with life-saving assistance.
- Non-emergency programs: Food aid is also used in valuable development programs that address chronic hunger. Because development programs involve a wide range of activities beyond the direct provision of food, it is estimated that 70 percent of the food aid provided through these development programs is monetized — sold by the recipient organization in order to generate funds to finance development activities. The bill requires a cost recovery rate of at least 70 percent, minimizing costs associated with the monetization process.
The Farm Bill developed by the bipartisan leadership of the Senate Agriculture Committee enhances U.S. leadership in the fight against hunger. It is a role that the American people support. As the U.S. seeks to further engage the international community to promote food security at the upcoming G-8 Meeting, the Senate has made an important statement about its commitment to the importance of alleviating global hunger. In so doing, they have also strengthened the capacity of the Administration as it seeks to further engage other nations in our common battle to create a less hungry — and more stable — world.
Download Rick Leach's full statement here.