The American Soybean Association (ASA) joined 40 commodity and maritime groups sending a letter this month to Reps. David Rouzer (R-NC), the chairman of the Subcommittee on Livestock and Foreign Agriculture and Jim Costa (D-CA), its ranking member, asking for full funding for the Food for Peace Program.
The program provides the largest amount of federal fund aid and in-kind food aid. President Barack Obama's proposed budget would reduce the funding for Food for Peace Program. The budget seeks to fund more cash-based and regionally purchased food.
In the letter, the groups highlighted the bipartisan support that the food aid programs have received for decades and the reliability of the programs to feed those in need. Overseas, the Food for Peace program feeds children facing malnutrition and promotes free enterprise through the development of the agricultural sector in emerging democratic countries.
The groups supporting the letter believe the programs do more than feed people; they believe the bags of food with U.S. grown food bearing the U.S. flag and stamped with "From the American People" serves as a diplomatic tool demonstrating the goodwill of the U.S.
The groups oppose moving food aid resources to overseas commodity procurement and cash assistance and hope the committee will do its part to change the current budget to reflect the importance of the food aid programs.