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Support For Food Aid Reform Should Be ‘No Brainer’

“The president took a bold step forward earlier this year when he requested wide-ranging changes to our food aid program to make them more efficient and cost-effective,” Jim French, the lead agriculture organizer for Oxfam America, writes in The Hill’s “Congress Blog,” noting Reps. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Karen Bass (D-Calif.) last month in the House Foreign Affairs Committee “introduced the Food Aid Reform Act, H.R. 1983, which would authorize a long-term fix to our broken food aid program.” He continues, “The president and members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee have stepped up where the Agriculture committees have failed to act.”

“I am disappointed that the House Agriculture Committee failed to grab the opportunity of reform as they took up the farm bill,” French continues, adding, “And though the Senate farm bill, which is being debated on the Senate floor, is better, it does not go far enough.” He states, “With common-sense reforms, up to 17 million more people would receive life-saving assistance — at no additional cost to the taxpayer,” and writes, “Cutting the red tape would allow humanitarian organizations to have the flexibility to purchase food aid closer to where it’s needed for better prices.” French continues, “Support for changing the status quo should be a no-brainer when more than half of the taxpayer dollars that could be helping to feed people are siphoned away into the pockets of middlemen before one hungry child is fed” (6/4).