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FY20 Food Aid Funding Letter to House Ag Appropriations

April 8, 2019

The Honorable Sanford Bishop
Subcommittee on Agriculture                      
House Committee on Appropriations
Washington, DC 20515         

The Honorable Jeff Fortenberry
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Agriculture
House Committee on Appropriations
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Bishop and Ranking Member Fortenberry: Our nation’s international food aid programs, including P.L. 480 Title II Food for Peace, Food for Progress, and McGovern-Dole International Food for Education within the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies appropriations bill, help reach millions of vulnerable people around the world each year. These programs have enjoyed significant bipartisan support for more than 60 years. We, the undersigned organizations, respectfully request that Congress continues to fully support these programs by robustly funding these accounts in Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations. Drought, continuing conflict, and other crises persist around the world, requiring ongoing global food assistance. According to the UN World Food Programme, 821 million people, or one in nine, are currently suffering from chronic hunger, while over 206 million children worldwide contend with stunting or wasting due to malnutrition. Going into 2019, USAID’s Famine Early Warning System Network projects an uptick in food insecurity, with over 83 million people in need of emergency food assistance. With hunger on the rise, now is the time for America to continue its leadership role in the world by showing full support for its international food security programs. Food aid, in all its forms, is made available through these programs bearing the U.S. flag and/or marked “from the American people.” These programs not only benefit recipients, but also U.S. strategic interests by furthering stability in fragile countries and sparking hope in countless people who are struggling to survive. In a letter to House and Senate leadership on February 27, 2017, over 120 generals and admirals showed their support for foreign assistance, like that provided through international food programs, because they understand that it builds goodwill, decreases vulnerability, and provides lifesaving assistance to people and families in crises. Ultimately, these kinds of foreign assistance programs help create a firm foundation for vulnerable communities to grow and prosper, which is why many former food aid recipient countries are now among the most important U.S. trading partners American commodities as food aid has been a cornerstone of U.S. foreign assistance programs and U.S. food aid has continually evolved and adapted over the decades to meet changing needs through a combination of U.S. commodities, cash, vouchers, and locally purchased food in order to expedite hunger relief and save countless lives. Working through a joint public-private partnership, American farmers, fishing families, mariners, port workers, private voluntary organizations (PVOs), and the U.S. Government have developed the strongest frontline response to urgent global food insecurity. Food aid in any form is a tangible source of hope to those in need,  and American stakeholders take great pride in their support for the world’s most vulnerable people through these programs. While our organizations at times have policy differences, we do agree that U.S. food aid programs are among the world’s most critical foreign assistance programs, save countless lives, bolster our nation’s and global security, and help millions in need around the world.  We ask that you continue the lifesaving and life improving work of food aid by providing robust appropriations in Fiscal Year 2020 to carry out the necessary and vital work accomplished in the P.L. 480 Title II Food for Peace, Food for Progress, and McGovern-Dole programs. Thank you,

Action Against Hunger
ADRA International
American Association of Port Authorities
American Farm Bureau Federation
American Maritime Congress
American Maritime Officers
American Maritime Officers Service
American President Lines, LLC
American Pulse Association
American Soybean Association
Bold Ocean LLC
Bread for the World
Breedlove Foods
Bunge North America
Catholic Relief Services
Church World Service
Didion Milling
DSM North America, Human Nutrition & Health
Euro-America Shipping & Trade, Inc.
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Federal Marine Terminals
Feed the Children
FINCA International
Food for the Hungry Global Citizen
Global Food & Nutrition Inc.
Great Lakes Maritime Academy
Hapag-Lloyd USA, LLC
Helen Keller International
International Longshore and Warehouse Union
International Longshoremen’s Association
International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots
Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers Association
Kendall Packaging Corporation
Land O’ Lakes International Development
Liberty Maritime Corporation
LifeLine Foods, LLC
Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association
Maritime Institute for Research and Industrial Development
National Association of Wheat Growers
National Barley Gowers Association
National Corn Growers Association
National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
National Farmers Union
National Milk Producers Federation
National Sorghum Producers
National Sunflower Association
Navy League of the United States
North American Millers’ Association
North American Stevedores
Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development
Planet Aid
Port Houston
Port of Beaumont
Port of Lake Charles
Port of New Orleans
Port of Virginia
Potomac Shipping International, LLC
Prayon, Inc.
Project Concern International (PCI)
Sailors’ Union of the Pacific
Save the Children
Schuyler Line Navigation Company, LLC
Seafarers International Union
Sealift Inc.
Semo Milling
Shelter for Life International
The Borgen Project
Transportation Institute
Transylvania Vocational Services, Inc.
U.S. Shipping Corp
United Sugars Corporation
US Canola Association
US Dry Bean Council
US Ocean LLC
US Rice Producers Association
USA Dry Pea & Lentil Association
USA Rice
Watco Companies, LLC
Winrock International
World Food Program USA
World Vision

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