Aid Organization Claps Back At Trump's Proposed Budget With A Clever Food Truck Menu

The current administration "is proposing cuts that we have not seen in recent memory from either party."

In its proposed new budget plan detailed for the first time earlier this week, the current administration has made clear its intent to cut some $11 billion to humanitarian aid in favor of bolstering defense spending. Oxfam, an organization aimed at alleviating global poverty, is fighting back with something called the Famine Food Truck.

Instead of dispensing food, the Famine Food Truck, which is staffed with Oxfam employees and will be making its way around Washington, D.C. until later this week, will provide its "customers" with pertinent information (via food boxes) about the global food crisis, including how it stands to be impacted by the proposed budget cuts.

According to CNN, the Trump administration's proposed plan would decrease the money given to the Department of State and its international aid programs by upwards of 29 percent. In 2017, the department received $39.7 billion in aid, but the current administration wishes to see that figure shrink to $28.2 billion in 2018, marking one of the steepest overall cuts second only to the Environmental Protection Agency.


Though it seems highly unlikely the budget will pass in its current form, the proposed decrease in funding would mean much less emergency food aid via the Title II food aid program — an initiative intended to reduce hunger and malnutrition worldwide. Per CNN, the proposal states, "The Budget proposes to eliminate the P.L. 480 Title II food aid program (Title II) in order to focus on the highest priority, most efficient and effective foreign assistance and eliminate inefficient, slow, and high-cost programs." 

A statement from Oxfam adds, "The proposed cuts would significantly hamper poverty-fighting programs around the world. From global health programs that fight HIV and malaria and provide maternal health services, to programs that help ensure girls can go to school and food security programs that can help prevent future famines. Elimination of these programs will hit the poorest and most vulnerable the hardest, sacrificing recent global progress and US global leadership in the process."

It's important not to forget we're also in the midst of a costly food waste problem as well, with approximately 1.3 billion tons of food from stores, restaurants, homes, and companies wasted each year.


The current administration "is proposing cuts that we have not seen in recent memory from either party," Ben Grossman-Cohen, Oxfam's global campaign manager, tells HuffPost. "There has been strong bipartisan support for international poverty assistance programs ... until now. It is unprecedented."

 To make matters worse, these proposed cuts are coming at particularly inopportune time. As the Oxfam statement points out, 30 million people across Somalia, Nigeria, Yemen, and South Sudan are currently impacted by a massive food crisis and extreme hunger. Ten million of those people are facing "emergency or famine-like conditions," and the United Nations has called this the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II. According to NPR, the agency estimates $4.4 billion is needed by the end of July to adequately respond and prevent millions from starvation. 

That's why, in addition to providing information about the proposed budget cuts and global food crisis, HuffPost notes the Famine Food Truck also boasts a number that people can text to help contact political leaders and encourage change.

To follow along with the Famine Food Truck on Twitter and do your part to make sure the world hunger crisis isn't neglected, click here.


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