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Take a long-term approach to fighting global hunger

Sean Callahan, executive vice president for overseas operations, wrote a commentary that was published in this morning’s Baltimore Sun:

As our children don their Halloween costumes and ready their bags for trick-or-treating, we Americans are preparing to dole out more than $1.5 billion worth of candy.

Sean Callahan, second from left, testifies before a congressional committee on food aid. Photo courtesy of the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council.

Sean Callahan, second from left, testifies before a congressional committee on food aid. Photo courtesy of the USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council.

That figure from the National Retail Federation stands in stark contrast to the amount budgeted for food aid that the United States will send this year to the poorest and hungriest people in the world: about $300 million less than we’ll spend for those Halloween treats.

The U.S. government is the largest donor of food aid to the world, and this should make Americans proud. Yet our generosity feeds less than 6 percent of the estimated 850 million chronically hungry people around the globe.

To feed more chronically hungry people, and to ensure that many of them are able to provide for themselves someday, we need to stop diverting funding from long-term development programs to meet emergency needs.

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