Senate votes on small changes to int'l food aid

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Associated Press

Posted on June 3, 2013 at 6:02 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 5 at 3:00 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has voted to make modest changes to the way international food aid is delivered. It's a much scaled-back version of an overhaul proposed by President Barack Obama earlier this year.

Senators adopted an amendment by voice vote Monday to a wide-ranging farm bill 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. The Obama administration says that's inefficient.

The Senate farm bill would allocate $40 million annually for a local purchase program. That's an increase from current dollars, but still a small portion of the $1.8 billion spent on food aid. The amendment sponsored by Nebraska Republican Mike Johanns and Delaware Democrat Chris Coons would boost that to $60 million annually.

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