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Food Aid

  • About Us

  • Food for

  • McGovern-Dole
    Food for Education

  • Local and Regional

  • Other Programs

USDA's food aid programs provide donated agricultural commodities to assist millions of people in low-income countries. These commodities are used for both direct feeding and monetization programs (where commodities are sold and their proceeds used to administer development projects). USDA sends food aid to politically free, low-income countries, with high instances of child stunting and low literacy rates.

USDA food aid programs aim to prevent hunger in the developing world while simultaneously working to reduce dependence on food aid through development initiatives. USDA-donated agricultural commodities assist millions of people in developing countries. In FY 2009, USDA provided over $410 million in international food aid and reached over 8.65 million beneficiaries. USDA administers three active food aid programs: Food for Progress, the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, and the Local and Regional Procurement Pilot Project. Two other programs, Title I of the Food for Peace Act and Section 416(b), are also administered by USDA but are not currently active.

Food for Progress (FFPr): authorized by the Food for Progress Act of 1985 provides donated U.S. agricultural commodities to Private Voluntary Organizations (PVOs) and developing country governments. The commodities are then sold (or "monetized"), and the proceeds are used to fund agricultural development projects. Past projects have included microfinance, infrastructure construction, agribusiness development, and technical capacity building.
The McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program helps support education, child and maternal health, and food security for some of the world's poorest children. It provides for donations of U.S. agricultural products to be used in school feeding programs in low-income, food-deficit countries that are committed to universal education.  The program also provides financial and technical assistance for nutrition projects, school renovations, and school gardens.
The Local and Regional Procurement Pilot Project was authorized under the 2008 Farm Bill.  This five-year humanitarian feeding pilot program procures commodities in the regions where they are to be distributed.
USDA administers Title I of the Food for Peace Act (formerly referred to as Public Law 480), although this program is currently inactive.  Title I provides for shipment of U.S. agricultural commodities to developing country governments on credit or grant terms for use in trade and development assistance.  Commodities are sold and the proceeds used to fund development initiatives in the recipient country.

The Section 416(b) program - authorized by the Agricultural Act of 1949 - provides for overseas donations of surplus commodities acquired by the Commodity Credit Corporation. Donations may not reduce the amount of commodities that are traditionally donated to U.S. domestic feeding programs or agencies, and may not disrupt normal commercial sales. This program is currently inactive.


U.S. Department of Agriculture
Foreign Agricultural Service
1400 Independence Ave., S.W.
Washington, DC 20250