Soy Growers Urge Ag Secretary to Support School Feeding Program, Food for Peace in Budget

Feb 01, 2018

Soy growers are asking U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue to support U.S. programs that help feed children and modernize agriculture practices in developing countries.

The American Soybean Association (ASA) joined several other organizations in a letter to the secretary this week, urging the importance of the McGovern Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition program and the Food for Progress program.

The McGovern-Dole program provides high-quality American-sourced commodities for millions of children in 24 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America.

“In poor communities that suffer from chronic hunger, McGovern-Dole lunches are a powerful incentive for parents to send their children to classes regularly, particularly since these lunches are often the only meal these children receive each day,” the groups state in the letter.

The McGovern-Dole program also promotes education, child development and nutrition through complementary services. Examples include administering deworming medicine, providing greater access to clean water, and targeted teacher training and literacy interventions.

Food for Progress is an equally impactful program that strengthens and modernizes agricultural sectors in developing countries.

“Both McGovern-Dole and Food for Progress also directly contribute to important U.S. interests beyond helping other countries,” the letter states. “For instance, in Fiscal Year 2015, these programs together purchased and shipped 428,288 metric tons of commodities grown by U.S. farmers. The provision of commodities is a lifeline to people living in poverty, and it is not lost on them that this aid is provided by the American people, which raises our country’s stature and reputation around the world. As these people begin to prosper economically, thanks in part to our efforts, trade opportunities for American businesses will increase.”

Click here to read the entire letter.