WASHINGTON, June 12, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Bread for the World applauds yesterday's passage of a House spending bill amendment related to food-aid reform. The passage of the amendment is a victory in Bread's efforts to urge Congress to reform U.S. food-aid programs and signals continued bipartisan support for reform of these programs.
Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), who has been a champion of food-aid reform, proposed the amendment late yesterday as debate began on the House's version of a 2015 spending bill for agricultural appropriations. The amendment passed 223 to 198. The bill now places in the House's spending bill $10 million for the local and regional procurement (LRP) program. This program, which was permanently authorized in the 2014 farm bill, would allow the United States the option to buy food close to the source of need rather than shipping lifesaving resources from overseas, which can take up to 14 weeks.
"This victory has a significant impact. It makes it very clear that the majority of the House of Representatives favors reform of international food aid," said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. "Thanks to the advocacy efforts of Bread for the World members, we are moving in the right direction on food-aid reform."
Beckmann added that the victory also creates momentum for broader reform of U.S. food aid. "With 842 million people around the world still going hungry every day, now is the time to invest more efforts to reach more people, more efficiently."
Royce informed Bread for the World of his intention to propose the amendment late Tuesday, as he attended a reception with Bread activists, where he was honored by Bread for his work on food-aid reform. Hundreds of Bread activists from around the country had spent the afternoon visiting their members of Congress to urge them to reform U.S. food-aid programs as part of Bread's annual Lobby Day.
The in-person visits to congressional offices, and a parallel event in which hundreds of Bread activists called their members of Congress on Monday and Tuesday in a virtual lobby day, laid the groundwork for House members' support of Royce's amendment. Last-minute phone calls and emails to key House lawmakers, as well as a letter to House members signed by Bread and several of its partner organizations, helped push the vote in a positive direction.
Bread for the World (www.bread.org) is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.
SOURCE Bread for the World