Meet Khalida Mahmoud, a 29-year-old woman whose farming family was driven into worsening poverty, after U.S. food aid poured into her home region of eastern Sudan. That's not how food aid is supposed to work, but just look at the policy: your tax dollars are used to buy grain from U.S. factory farms, the same giant corporations that already receive $26 billion in tax subsidies. Then the grain is transported halfway around the world, using thousands of gallons of fossil fuel and releasing tons of harmful carbon emissions into the atmosphere. The transport typically takes months while hungry people grow more desperate.Once the food finally arrives, it floods agricultural markets, destabilizing fragile local economies. Small farmers are the first to go bankrupt. Most of them are women like Khalida, who work small plots of land hoping to sell enough at market to buy cooking oil, flour, a bar of soap and a pair of shoes so a child can stay in school.
The case for buying food aid locally
Melanie RedmanMelanie Redman is a Social Mission Collaborator with more than 10 years of direct experience in strategic, leadership and advisory roles across the social mission sector in the U.S. and Canada. She calls many places home - most recently Toronto, Buenos Aires and Seattle - but was sprouted from the Ozark Mountains of Southern Missouri. Learn more about her work at www.melanieredman.com or on LinkedIn.