On Sunday, October 12, Third Church members will have an opportunity to send letters to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand asking them to co-sponsor the Food for Peace Reform Act (S.2421). According to Bread for the World (BFW), this bill would make important reforms to U.S. food-aid programs, increasing their flexibility, efficiency and effectiveness .
Here’s what it’s all about. Last spring the House passed legislation that would have required that 75% of food aid must be shipped on American ships with American crews. This would result in much higher shipping costs and result in less money going to direct aid. The legislation is based on the argument that food aid hurts exports. BFW points out that all food aid sent to other countries accounts for only one half of one percent of all US exports. But United States food aid made a huge difference in 2012 in the lives of people caught in disaster situations such as the Philippines, and Rwanda.
BFW also advocates for more flexibility in buying local and regional food near the site of need when practical. This practice “uses tax dollars more efficiently and costs 25 to 50 percent less than food shipped from the United States — and reaches millions more”. Buying food locally also supports local merchants and farmers in developing nations, rather than undercutting their prices.
While this legislation will not be considered until after the November election, Senators Gillibrand and Schumer need to hear that we are concerned about world hunger and that their support is important to move this legislation forward. Please come to the Celebration Center after church on Sunday, October 12. Write a letter, or sign a letter supporting Food Aid reform. Let your voice be heard.