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­AJWS Reverse Hunger campaign targets U.S. global food aid policy

(New York) — American Jewish World Service (AJWS), an international development and human rights organization, unveiled its new Reverse Hunger campaign last month. The campaign seeks to rally the American Jewish community to challenge and change a critical factor contributing to global hunger — U.S. food aid policy.

Developing countries struck by famine and natural disasters depend on the U.S. government for food aid, but, according to AJWS, the government’s current food aid policy prevents the United States from saving as many lives as it could.

Reverse Hunger takes particular aim at a piece of U.S. food aid policy that requires that the country’s food donations be purchased, processed and transported by American companies. Under this guideline, it can take several months for food to reach hungry people abroad. And once that aid arrives, the influx of U.S. food into local markets often undercuts local farmers, undermining local agriculture rather than strengthening it to promote longterm food security.

AJWS seeks to mobilize the Jewish community to use the upcoming debate on the U.S. Farm Bill to reform this system.

The Reverse Hunger campaign calls on Congress to pass a Farm Bill that: (1) promotes a flexible, localized approach to food aid, as opposed to a “one-size-fits-all” model; and (2) prioritizes locally and regionally purchased food aid wherever possible.

AJWS believes that reforming U.S. food aid policy, will give developing nations a chance to strengthen their ability to grow food for their own citizens — preparing them for future emergencies.

In partnership with several Jewish organizations, AJWS is promoting a “Jewish Petition for a Just Farm Bill,” which it hopes thousands will sign in advance of the 2012 Farm Bill debate to show Congress the Jewish community’s commitment to reforming food aid and promoting a new vision for our agriculture policy at home and abroad.

For more information or to sign the petition, visit