All month GOOD has been shining a light on the Farm Bill, the omnibus legislation that dictates food policy in the United States, and which will soon be up for debate in the House of Representatives. The bill only comes up for review every 5 years, which is why it is especially important for members of the public to now voice their support or concerns with the draft Farm Bill that will be debated.
The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition has launched a video campaign encouraging citizens to reach out to legislators about strengthening international food assistance programs in the Farm Bill. Right now the United States sends food to millions of vulnerable people around the world, either in response to natural disasters or to provide vital nutritional aid to populations that struggle with chronic undernourishment. However, Tufts University recently released a report advising that we're not getting the best value from our food assistance programs because international food aid products are not adequately nutritious and should be upgraded to provide better vitamins and minerals. Another significant problem is that we transport food across thousands of miles instead of purchasing it regionally, which would be a more cost-effective and timely way to support people in need.
GAIN’s video tool, embedded above, makes it easy for members of the public to record a short message communicating what you want to see in the Farm Bill, whether around international food aid or some other section of the Farm Bill.
So let’s do this: Take 15 seconds to make a video to send to our political representatives explaining why you think the 2012 Farm Bill should strengthen the quality of U.S. food aid, so that we can ensure our investments are having the greatest impact possible. You can create a Tout account here.
If you want to help but don't know what to say and don't have time to do your own research, here's a pretty straightforward script from GAIN:
My name is [you]. I am from [your city]. I feel strongly that U.S. food assistance should be nutritious, ensuring women and children in particular have access to the essential nutrients they need to thrive. I’m calling on my Representative [include name if known] to support reforms of U.S. Food Aid quality in the 2012 Farm Bill.