The Role of the United States Department of Agriculture

The U.S. government plays a significant role in providing both relief and development opportunities to end hunger both domestically and internationally. For the sake of simplifying a complex web of government agencies with various abbreviations and acronyms, we’ll just divide them up into two categories: domestic and international. Yes, we know this it is much more complex than this, but we have to start as simple as possible.

Before we go much further, we need to introduce you to another term: food security. The following is taken from USAID.

  • Food security means having, at all times, both physical and economic access to sufficient food to meet dietary needs for a productive and healthy life.
  • A family is food secure when its members do not live in hunger or fear of hunger.
  • Food insecurity is often rooted in poverty and has long-term impacts on the ability of families, communities and countries to develop..

Domestic Focus

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

The main purpose of the USDA is to create opportunities for American agriculture to be the best in the world.

The Farm Bill – this is the bill Congress is to agree on every five years that gives money from the American taxpayer to fund the workings of the USDA. This is important to note: nearly 80 percent of the Farm Bill is for nutrition and feeding programs in the U.S

Here are a few of the USDA programs that are funded out of the Farm Bill.

This is a simplified overview of the role of the USDA that focuses on domestic food security. Our next chapter will be on the role of the United States Agency for International Development on food security.

Don’t forget to download the free new book, “Changing the Way We Talk About Hunger.”

Here’s Understanding the Hunger Space, Part 1.