The Commodity Credit Corp. in the past two weeks, under P.L.480 Title II, purchased 36,380 tonnes (802,180 cwts) of flour to meet urgent food needs in developing countries. Of that total, 15,000 tonnes (330,750 cwts) was purchased on an emergency basis that required delivery to the Jacinoport prepositioning facility near Houston before mid-March. For some of the supply, delivery at the facility was required before the end of February. This flour was required mostly to replenish prepositioned food stocks drawn down because of the response to the Haiti earthquake.

The other flour purchases included 20,000 tonnes (441,000 cwts) for donation to Pakistan, and 1,380 tonnes (30,430 cwts) of bread flour for donation to Chad.

It was fortunate the urgent needs occurred during a time of year when flour grind typically is slow and mills are able to accommodate the additional demand on capacity.


U.S.D.A.’s budget maintains current level of spending on foreign food aid

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s budget request for fiscal 2011 included funding the principal U.S. foreign food aid programs at unchanged levels.

The U.S.D.A. requested authority to purchase $1,690 million in food for donation abroad under P.L.480 Title II, known as the Food for Peace program. The request equaled what was appropriated for use in fiscal 2010. It was uncertain whether supplemental spending authority would be requested in the current fiscal year because of the urgent needs of Haiti. In fiscal 2009, food aid needs did require Congress to pass legislation that approved spending in excess of the $1,226 million initially authorized. The supplemental funding in that year was $1,095 million, bringing overall food aid purchases by the C.C.C. under P.L.480 Title II during that year to $2,321 million.

The U.S.D.A. requested $210 million for the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, unchanged from the enacted level for fiscal 2010 but more than double the level spent in fiscal 2009. The U.S.D.A. said, “Appropriated funding for the program was increased substantially in 2010 in order to help support additional school feeding and child nutrition programs and to bolster the department’s contribution to supporting economic development and food security in developing countries.”

The funding would allow the program to assist an estimated 5 million women and children in 2011, the U.S.D.A. said.