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July 14, 2010


Hi!! It's sad to think so many people are suffering with lack of food. Food banking is good idea. I think care is needed to preserve food.

Think about your relationship to food and the role it plays in your life. Think also about donating some time or money or food to a local food bank, if you do not do so already. It could be a life changing event for all involved.

The article referenced in this post by IRIN includes several sweeping statements about food aid and cargo preference with little factual evidence or context. Cargo preference is an important and successful program – not unique to the United States. Its purpose is to maintain a viable U.S. flag commercial fleet manned by highly skilled U.S. mariners, providing a reliable and cost-effective sealift capacity in times of war or national emergency. According to the Government Accountability Office, if Cargo Preference were to be eliminated, the number of U.S. merchant mariners would shrink by 75 percent. The annual cost to taxpayers is a small price to pay for securing a U.S. flagged maritime fleet.

When it comes to transporting food aid, all vessels are limited to what the Maritime Administration considers to be “fair and reasonable rates.” Moreover, it has been demonstrated that the cost of shipping food aid alone on U.S. vessels provides $2 billion in economic output for the U.S. and $523 million in earnings for American households. In today’s era of budget deficits and high unemployment, there are not many government programs that can make that claim for so little cost – and so much benefit to our national security.

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