“SNAP is essential in protecting the most vulnerable citizens during tough times, but we need to have a complete understanding of its mission and purpose.” That was the message from House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway this week as the committee began its top-to-bottom review of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), previously known as food stamps.
Subcommittee Reviews Food Aid Delivery and International Agriculture Development Assistance
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House Agriculture Committee’s Subcommittee on Specialty Crops, Rural Development and Foreign Agriculture held a hearing to review the delivery of U.S. food aid overseas and efforts to provide agriculture development assistance in developing countries.
The United States contributes more food aid than any other country, providing more than $1.78 billion in fiscal year 2007, which is about 58% of the total spent globally for food aid. For fiscal year 2008, $1.53 billion provided for food aid through regular appropriations has been supplemented by an additional $1.2 billion included for food aid in the supplemental appropriations bill recently passed by Congress.
“Worldwide, the act of breaking bread with another person symbolizes a fellowship and kinship between human beings; our food aid accomplishes this, only on a larger scale,” Subcommittee Chairman McIntyre said. “The United States must continue to provide food aid to address crisis situations, but we must also prioritize agricultural development funding to enhance the ability of developing nations to produce food.”
“Though emergency assistance is an important component of U.S. aid around the world, agriculture development is believed by many to be the foundation of sound economic progress. While we are willing and able to provide resources to help feed the world, I am confident that all Americans would applaud the moment these developing countries are able to build a sustainable economy,” said Subcommittee Ranking Member Marilyn Musgrave.
A full transcript of the hearing will be posted on the Committee website at a later date.
- Mr. Michael W. Yost, Administrator, Foreign Agricultural Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C.
- Mr. James Kunder, Acting Deputy Administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Washington, D.C.
- Mr. Sean Callahan, Executive Vice President for Overseas Operations, Catholic Relief Services, Baltimore, Maryland
- Dr. Andrew Barnes, Director of Food Security, Food for the Hungry, Washington, D.C.
- Mr. Avram “Buzz” Guroff, Senior Vice President, Food Security and Specialty Crops Portfolio, ACDI/VOCA, Washington, D.C.
- Dr. Nicholas Minot, Senior Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, D.C.
- Dr. Theo A. Dillaha, Program Director, Office of International Research, Education, and Development, Virginia Tech University