"For over 55 years, the United States has played a leading role in global efforts to alleviate hunger and malnutrition and to enhance world food security through international food aid activities. The development and implementation of a U.S. global food security initiative, and commitments made by global leaders to support agricultural development, have increased Congress's focus on U.S. international food aid programs. The primary objectives for foreign food aid include providing emergency and humanitarian assistance in response to natural or manmade disasters, and promoting agricultural development and food security. The United States provides food aid for emergency food relief and to support development projects. The 2008 farm bill, the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (P.L. [Public Law] 110-246), authorizes through FY2012 and amends international food aid programs. These programs are primarily funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and are administered either by USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) or by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Federal foreign food aid is distributed primarily through five program authorities: the Food for Peace Act (P.L. 480), which includes four primary programs; Section 416(b) of the Agricultural Act of 1949; the Food for Progress Act of 1985; the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program; and the Local and Regional Procurement Pilot Project, which is a newly created pilot in the 2008 farm bill. In addition, the 2008 farm bill also reauthorizes the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust (BEHT), a reserve of commodities and cash for use in the Food for Peace programs to meet food aid needs."
CRS Report for Congress, R41072
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