• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Getting More Bang for the Buck from Food Aid

    EdwardRoyce-colorheadshot1

    Proposed changes to food aid programs would allow U.S. tax dollars to feed more people at a lower cost.

    Representatives Ed Royce (R–CA) and Karen Bass (D–CA) recently proposed legislation that would remove counter-productive restrictions on the use of food-aid dollars while ending a wasteful process known as “monetization.”

    Monetization occurs when the government donates U.S. food to charities instead of giving them dollars. These charitable organizations then sell the food in other countries and use the proceeds to fund development-related activities. The Government Accountability Office found that monetization programs wasted $219 million over a three-year period that otherwise could have been used to fight hunger or returned to taxpayers.

    Royce and Bass’s bill would also remove mandates that force aid dollars to be used to purchase U.S.-grown food and shipped on U.S. vessels, even when there are more cost-efficient options available.

    The legislation builds on a more modest proposal by the Obama Administration to modernize U.S. food aid programs and includes specific policy reforms that The Heritage Foundation has previously recommended.

    Based on Obama Administration estimates, the proposal would enable the same funding to benefit 2 million to 4 million additional people around the world. Royce and Bass would take that a step further by removing entirely the legislative restrictions that increase costs and reduce the effectiveness of U.S. food assistance.

    U.S. special interest groups whose funding might be threatened have expressed opposition even to the Administration’s modest reform proposals. But nothing the reforms suggested by the Obama Administration or Royce and Bass would prevent U.S. aid dollars from being spent on U.S. food and shipped on U.S. vessels, as long as that is the most affordable and best way to get food to the people who need it.

    Freeing aid dollars to be used more efficiently is a bipartisan reform that Americans should embrace.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    Comments are closed.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.

    ×