Shortly after hearing from a group of 21 Senators – President Obama received a letter from 70 farm, humanitarian, shipping and labor groups regarding rumors the administration’s draft fiscal year 2014 budget would eliminate funding for international food assistance programs. It’s been reported the Obama Administration’s budget – to be released in March – would replace funding for the programs with a smaller amount of money for a program to buy commodities for food aid on international markets. The groups urged President Obama to sustain funding for the current Food for Peace and Food for Progress programs – expressing strong opposition to proposals to eliminate or drastically reduce program funding or shift the resources to overseas commodity procurement. The groups wrote that the 60-year-old food aid programs are the largest and most diverse, reliable and effective food assistance program in the world.
The American Soybean Association and National Farmers Union were among the many groups that signed onto the letter to the President.