|U.S. Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas, U.S.|
WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — U.S. Senator Jerry Moran of Kansas, chairman of the U.S. Senate Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, has called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Thomas Vilsack and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Gayle Smith to prioritize donations of wheat in U.S. food aid to reduce food insecurity across the globe and the oversupply of wheat that is contributing to low prices.
“As I’ve been traveling across Kansas, I’ve witnessed the historic wheat harvest, surplus of high-quality wheat and resulting low wheat prices,” Moran said. “I’m hopeful we can utilize the current abundance of wheat stocks to provide even greater assistance to those in need to reduce food insecurity and support wheat farmers in Kansas and across the country.”
In an Aug. 12 letter to Vilsack and Smith, Moran thanked the individuals for their leadership in administering U.S. food aid programs, noting that the nation’s food aid programs “embody the inherent generosity of the American people.”
“The U.S. wheat industry has a long and successful history of partnering with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and private humanitarian organizations in helping to reduce global hunger,” Moran wrote in the letter. “Wheat is the most consumed commodity worldwide, making up 20% of the calories and 20% of the protein consumed by the world’s poorest. Approximately 600,000 metric tons of wheat were donated through U.S. food aid during the most recent marketing year.”
He said the Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2016 directly supported U.S. food aid efforts by providing “a significant increase” in funding for the delivery of food aid to populations in need. In addition, he pointed to the Senate FY 2017 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, which provides support for food aid by providing additional funding for the Food for Peace program and maintaining elevated funding levels for the McGovern-Dole Food For Education Program.
“Following a historic wheat harvest in Kansas and other states, there is a surplus of high quality wheat available on the market,” Moran wrote. “The current abundance of wheat stocks offers an opportunity to provide even greater assistance to those in need through increased shipments of wheat. During the procurement process for in-kind commodity donations in the future, I encourage you to prioritize the utilization of wheat to help those in need.”