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KUOW: Food Prices, Food Banks and Food Aid

United States, April 21, 2008

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Steve Scher

April, 2008

The cost of food is rising — rapidly. Listen to Mercy Corps' Brandy Westerman discuss the issue.

Listen to the interview by Clicking Here

The cost of food is rising — rapidly. Hungry people have rioted in Haiti and elsewhere. Perhaps you've noticed your grocery dollars don't stretch as far. How is the rising cost of food affecting people most in need? We'll check in with food aid providers in our region, and in the developing world. Is the current crisis an opportunity to improve the way we get food aid to people? What changes should be made to farming practices and trade policies to keep people from going hungry? Is there enough food in the world to go around?

Trish Twomey manages the Hunger Action Center at Solid Ground in Seattle. She works with Seattle food banks to coordinate state and federal aid and food purchases. She joins us from a meeting with food suppliers and food banks as they decide which items to purchase.

Brandy Westerman is Mercy Corps' country director in Tajikistan. She lives in the capital Dushanbe. The US Government plans to cut food aid to Tajikistan because of rising costs.

Christopher Barrett is an applied economics and international agriculture professor at Cornell University. Professor Barrett directs Cornell's African Food Security and Natural Resources Management Program and is associate director of Cornell's Center for a Sustainable Future. He edits the American Journal of Agricultural Economics. His research focuses on hunger and food security in low-income societies. He looks at structural, behavioral and environmental approaches to ending hunger, and is an expert on food aid approaches. He was formerly president of the Association of Christian Economists. Barrett recently authored Food Aid After Fifty Years: Recasting Its Role and edited a collection, The Social Economics of Poverty.