Thursday, August 20, 2015

Oxfam Volunteers Continue Advocacy on Food Aid Reform

Amanda Dezan (left) and Kathy Chavez (right) meet with Bill Woldman at Sen. Udall's Albuquerque office
A number of organizations continue efforts to urge Congress to reform our food-aid policies.  This was the centerpiece of Bread for the World's Offering of Letters in 2014. While we continued this advocacy effort in 2015, the main focus of our letters this year has been on reauthorizing the Child Nutrition Act.  However,  food aid reform remains at the top of the agenda for some of our partners, including Oxfam America. Food-aid reform was one of the main asks Oxfam Action Corps volunteers visited Capitol Hill in April

Kathy Chavez, Amanda Dezan and Juliana Bilowich, volunteers from New Mexico Oxfam Action Corps, followed up on those visits with local meetings in August with the staffs of Sen. Tom Udall and Sen. Martin Heinrich to ask our senators to cosponsor the Food for Peace program.  "What the Food For Peace Reform initiative, which asks is that we allow for the money be spent how it is needed," said Chavez, one of four national peer advisors Oxfam Action Corps.  "On food from local farmers or neighboring countries for example, or if they have food and need money we can give them money. Right now only 42 cents per dollar actually is spent on food."

The New Mexico Oxfam Action Corps volunteers found a receptive ear in Bill Woldman, a long-time aide to Sen. Udall in Albuquerque, and in Ane Romero, a field representative for Sen. Heinrich locally.  Both promised to pass on the cosponsorship request to the New Mexico senators.

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