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Farah Stockman

Food aid fattens up lobbyists

EACH YEAR, the United States spends more than $1.5 billion feeding starving people overseas. But our charity comes with a catch: The food has to be bought in America, and much of it must be shipped on American ships.

That might sound like a reasonable requirement. After all, we are giving a gift. Why shouldn’t we benefit from it too? But it takes months to buy corn in Iowa, truck it to Louisana or Detroit, and load it onto a ship bound for Ethiopia or North Korea. In an emergency, that process costs precious time and lives. And it’s incredibly expensive.

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