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Washington, D.C. – Bread for the World launched its 2014 Offering of Letters campaign to urge Congress to reform U.S. food aid so it is more efficient and benefits millions more hungry people at no additional cost to taxpayers.
“We have a unique opportunity to reform the federal government’s food-aid programs so that funds are used more effectively and efficiently,” said Rev. David Beckman, president of Bread for the World. “This program has helped millions since its implementation. However, with changes in technology and transportation, it is time to modernize food aid to create a faster and more flexible program to help eradicate hunger.”
U.S. food-aid programs provide assistance overseas through in-kind donations, where staple food items are distributed to survivors of disasters or used to support economic development in poor countries, and by donating food from the United States to a country in need where it is then sold. The United States is the world’s largest donor of food aid, supplying 60 percent of the total and having helped 3 billion people in 150 countries since the 1960s.
The reforms that Bread for the World is seeking could help millions more around the world without increasing the cost to taxpayers. Reform should focus on easing restrictions on where food must be grown, how the food is transported, and how monetization is handled.
“Food-aid funding has decreased over the past several years,” continued Beckmann. “At the same time, more people than ever are in need of assistance. With these reforms, we can help millions and not increase the cost of the program. We must continue to help our brothers and sisters in order to eradicate hunger in our lifetime.”
Thousands of churches representing nearly 50 diverse Christian denominations throughout the United States will participate in Bread for the World’s 2014 Offering of Letters campaign. As part of a worship service or Mass, Christians will write letters to their members of Congress in support of legislation that will benefit hungry and poor people. These letters are often placed in offering plates and dedicated to God before being mailed to legislators. Bread for the World members generate hundreds of thousands of letters to Congress every year.
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