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Senate’s Failure To Approve Changes To Food Aid Program Keeps ‘Harmful System In Place’

On Monday, “the U.S. Senate voted 66-27 to approve a ‘Farm Bill’ that leaves food aid policy stuck in the 1950s …, a decision that will unnecessarily keep an estimated four million people from receiving American food aid while harmfully distorting local markets,” freelance journalist Mike Miesen writes in a PolicyMic opinion piece. “[U]nder the bill, food aid policy would be basically unchanged, leaving a sclerotic, inefficient system intact,” he says. “It didn’t have to be this way,” he writes, noting the Obama administration’s proposed changes to the food aid program contained in its FY 2014 budget request. Meisen argues that changes under the proposal would allow an estimated four million to 10 million more people to benefit from food aid for the same cost, and the proposal would lessen the impact “that outside supply has on the local market.” He mentions two senators’ explanations of opposition to the changes, and he concludes, “It’s ‘just politics,’ in other words. Unfortunately, ‘just politics’ is keeping a sclerotic, inefficient, and harmful system in place that fails to assist millions of people and succeeds in distorting local markets” (6/12).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.