The Politics of Poverty

Ideas and analysis from Oxfam America's policy experts

Food aid for 17 million

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When it comes to debates over policy, it’s easy to find yourself deep in the weeds. Discussions over how to save lives quickly devolve into symposiums on tendering procedures and assessments of equivalent expenditures. But if you can hack your way through the complex thicket of jargon, sometimes you find yourself with a number that […]

When it comes to debates over policy, it’s easy to find yourself deep in the weeds. Discussions over how to save lives quickly devolve into symposiums on tendering procedures and assessments of equivalent expenditures. But if you can hack your way through the complex thicket of jargon, sometimes you find yourself with a number that just makes sense.

In our efforts to articulate why food aid reform is worthy of support in the Farm Bill, the number that makes the most sense to me is 17.1 million. That’s the number of additional people the US could reach with life-saving food aid if two basic reforms are pursued by Congress. And all this without costing taxpayers a single extra penny. We make the case for these reforms in a new report with American Jewish World Service.

But sometimes a report isn’t enough to make a number sink-in; even one as a staggering as 17.1 million. That’s why we’ve produced a food aid infographic, in the form of a receipt, which shows Americans what they’re getting for their food aid dollars. Like most receipts, ours comes with an easy cost-saving opportunity to help drive home the very simple point: reforming food aid saves money and lives. Check it out and let us know what you think.

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