ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, US — US agriculture groups voiced support for reforms to the US international food aid programs that would feed more people without spending new taxpayer dollars.

The reforms were included in the recently released Farm, Food, and National Security Act of 2024. It includes a 50% floor for US commodities and ocean shipping in Food for Peace, ensuring that at least half of the budget goes directly to feeding people worldwide.

The act provides a robust role for the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and American farmers, millers and shippers.

Additionally, it simplifies the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust release mechanism so that the program can respond efficiently and effectively to hunger crises, as intended.

The North American Millers’ Association (NAMA), US Wheat Associates (USW), National Sorghum Producers, National Association of Wheat Growers, Midwest Dry Bean Coalition, USA Rice, and AFL-CIO all voiced support for the reforms.

“The food aid reforms included in the House farm bill ensure that more food will go directly into the bellies of hungry people around the world,” said Kim Z Cooper, vice president of government affairs, NAMA. “In a time of such unprecedented famine emergency, we cannot imagine a higher priority than making sure we are feeding as many people as possible.”  

The act sends a clear message that Food for Peace should be delivering as much American grown food to hungry people as possible, said Peter Laudeman, director of trade policy, USW.

“This is a mission American wheat farmers are proud to support, and we look forward to seeing these important reforms carried through the farm bill process,” he said.

More than 65 organizations have endorsed these provisions in the lead up to the farm bill reauthorization.