The Senate on Monday voted to make modest changes to the way international food aid is delivered, a much scaled-back version of an overhaul proposed by President Barack Obama earlier this year.
Senators adopted an amendment by voice vote to a wide-ranging farm bill Monday that would slightly boost dollars to buy locally-grown food close to needy areas abroad. Currently, most food aid is grown in the United States and shipped to developing countries, an approach the Obama administration says is inefficient.
The Senate farm bill would allocate $40 million annually for a local purchase program - an increase from current dollars, but still a small portion of the $1.8 billion spent on food aid. The amendment sponsored by Republican Mike Johanns, of Nebraska, and Democrat Chris Coons, of Delaware, would boost that to $60 million annually.