As the world’s largest donor of food to countries in need, every year U.S. international food aid saves millions of lives. But our generosity has a darker side. As one of the only countries that still ships U.S. food donations around the globe rather than providing cash to buy food from within the region, too often U.S. food aid can do as much harm as good. How? Through inadvertently becoming unfair competition that undercuts local farmers. Purchasing food locally makes sense: It arrives much more quickly, it’s drastically cheaper and, best of all, it helps support the local and regional farmers who are the backbone of a locally sustainable food system. If our food aid helps people in the short run, but puts farmers out of the business, then in the long run we are creating a vicious cycle of hunger.
Right now Congress is debating the Farm Bill, the legislation which will determine the direction of U.S. food aid policy for the next five years. Please join us in calling on Congress to strengthen long-term food security by reforming our international food aid programs.
Dear Member of Congress,
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]