US increases food allocation to foreign aid program

USDA increased its food allocation for needy children abroad.
USDA increased its food allocation for needy children abroad.
The US Department of Agriculture will release an additional 51,700 tons of agricultural commodities, valued at nearly $80 million, under USDA's McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program.

Agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack announced the allocation today, which comes on top of $95.5 million allocated for fiscal 2009 for the McGovern-Dole Program that were previously announced in December.

"As a result of this effort, 655,000 poor children will eat a nutritious meal during their school day," Vilsack said. "By combining nutrition assistance with education, this investment will create opportunity for some of the poorest children in the world."

The aid program supports education, child development and food security in low-income, food-deficit countries that are committed to universal education.

It provides for donations of US agricultural products, as well as financial and technical assistance for school feeding and maternal and child nutrition projects, USDA said.

Recipients of the additional food aid include women, children and schools in Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Niger and Uganda.

Combined, the two allocations will feed nearly 4.2 million children in 19 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, USDA said.