Ask your members of Congress to co-sponsor the Food for Peace Modernization Act (S. 2551 and H.R. 5276)
Background: Senators Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) have introduced the Food for Peace Modernization Act (S. 2551), while its companion bill (HR. 5276) was introduced in the House by Representatives Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.).
The bills seek to modernize U.S international food assistance programs in several ways.
- Currently, U.S. law requires that 100 percent of commodities for food aid be purchased from U.S. farmers. The bill would reduce this to just 25 percent. The remaining 75 percent of food aid commodities could be sourced locally or regionally, and it would also allow the use of vouchers and debit cards to purchase food.
- It would eliminate the policy of ‘monetization’ that allows U.S donated food to be sold by aid organizations, producing cash that then funds development projects. The policy causes adverse market impacts and a loss of 25 cents out of every taxpayer dollar. If eliminated, an additional 800,000 people could be fed, and it would free up an estimated $30 million annually.
Faith reflection: “Those who are generous are blessed, for they share their bread with the poor” (Proverbs 22:9).
Action: Write to Congress to co-sponsor the Food for Peace Modernization Act (S. 2551 and HR. 5276).
Alert prepared by Charles Kwuelum, legislative associate for international affairs, May 3, 2018.