The United States has a long history of helping those in need and USDA has played a large role in these efforts over the years. The U.S. government’s food assistance programs were born in a time of conflict. Food aid played a crucial role in the reconstruction of Europe after World War II. Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Acting Under Secretary Michael Scuse reflected on America’s food aid legacy and renewed efforts to combat world hunger during a speech today at the World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (WISHH) Nutrition and Development Conference.
USDA administers the Food for Progress Program and the McGovern–Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program. Each program addresses the needs of hungry people from different ends of the spectrum and both contain unique, longer-term developmental aspects.
Scuse said he is particularly proud of the McGovern-Dole school feeding program, which helps support education, child development, and food security for some of the world’s poorest children. Between 2001 and 2010, it, and its predecessor, the Global Food for Education Initiative, have fed an estimated 5 million people daily during the school year. USDA currently has 36 active programs in 28 countries.
In May 2010, the Administration unveiled its Feed the Future (FTF) Initiative. The Initiative supports the international effort to increase the availability and accessibility of food and to improve nutrition and food safety. It serves as a springboard for broader economic development and food security. It also serves as a foundation for peace and opportunity in developing countries, which ensures our own national security. USDA is working with the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Department of State, and international organizations to help implement the Initiative.
As the world faces the growing challenge of feeding an ever-increasing human population, the effort to enhance global food security through the Feed the Future Initiative and USDA’s international food assistance programs will remain a bright spot in our country’s history of coming to the aid of those in need.