Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Farm Bill’s Food Assistance and Education Programs Are Vital in Reauthorization
Press Release

RELEASE: Farm Bill’s Food Assistance and Education Programs Are Vital in Reauthorization

Washington, D.C. — One of the most valuable programs in the farm bill is the international food assistance plan, which has played a key role in reducing hunger, advancing literacy, and increasing primary education access for girls in developing nations around the world.

Yet as negotiations to reauthorize the farm bill advance this year, some members of Congress are pushing to eliminate or greatly reduce the reach of the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program.

A new column from the Center for American Progress urges Congress to reauthorize and continue funding this program, which has helped feed millions of children, improved school enrollment for girls, and bolstered democratic institutions around the world.

The program has also helped build long-term community resilience, increased U.S. trade and exports, and promoted democratic values in countries vulnerable to the aggressive influence of other powers. From 2007 to 2017, for example, U.S. food assistance partner countries made up almost two-thirds of U.S. export growth.

“The geopolitical and humanitarian threats of extreme hunger leave no time to waste,” said Sarnata Reynolds, senior director for Human Security and International Policy at CAP and author of the column. “Now is not the time to retreat from this successful humanitarian, diplomatic, and economic program. Instead, Congress should authorize and increase flexibility of and funding for the program.”

Read the column: “McGovern-Dole Program Alleviates Hunger, Protects Democracy, and Bolsters U.S. Trade” by Sarnata Reynolds

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at [email protected].

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