Target: Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture
Goal: Demand reform to the current U.S. food aid program to ensure that millions of hungry people are fed around the world.
Although the United States government spends about 0.05% of the federal budget on food aid to needy countries, special interest regulations are wasting hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars every year. Instead of feeding hungry people, these wasted dollars find their way into the pockets of special interest groups in charge of shipping, growing, and overseeing the food aid program. More than half of the current aid money spent is wasted. Demand food aid reform to feed millions more hungry people every year without costing the U.S. government a penny extra.
In the current U.S. food aid program, delivery often takes four to six months, resulting in unsafe delays to communities faced with food shortages. The main reasons for these days are administrative overhead costs, shipping fees, and grower requirements.
When food is purchased from American farmers, shipped overseas, and sold to raise money for poverty programs, the welfare of local farmers is negatively impacted. A portion of food aid should be purchased regionally and given directly to individuals so they can buy and strength their own local agriculture markets.
Sign the below petition to demand the red tape be untangled and millions of hungry people be fed. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Congressional members must work together to reform the current food aid program to eliminate wasteful use of U.S. tax dollars and provide assistance to those who need it most.[gravityform id=1 name=Signthe Petition: ajax=false]
Dear Secretary Vilsack,
I understand that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) oversees the Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS) and provides food aid to millions of people in foreign countries. However, more than half of the United States’ small fraction of the federal budget that goes towards foreign food aid never reaches the hungry because it’s tangled in red tape.
I am urging you to work with members of Congress and President Obama to reform the current food aid program. The United States grows enough food to feed many impoverished communities right now. However, we must eliminate the political obstacles and unnecessary regulations that get in the way of your department doing its job. While the food aid program has saved countless lives, it must evolve and reform to become efficient in today’s economy.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Melissa Stewart via Flickr