Media CenterCRS Responds to New Farm Bill Proposed by Senate Agricultural Committee Ranking Member

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Robyn Fieser
Catholic Relief Services
[email protected]
+1 646 648 3916

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, June 14, 2024 – Bill O’Keefe, executive vice president for Mission, Mobilization and Advocacy at Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the international aid agency of the United States Catholic Church, issued the following statement on the proposed Senate Farm Bill package by Ranking Member John Boozman (R-AR) on June 11, 2024:

“CRS deeply appreciates Senator Boozman’s long-term support for meeting the needs of the world’s most vulnerable through our nation’s international food assistance programs. His leadership has been essential in updating these programs to respond effectively to evolving needs. However, after reviewing the Ranking Member’s Farm Bill proposal, CRS is concerned the proposed changes could reverse some of the reforms we've supported to enhance the quality and reach of the Food for Peace Title II (FFP ) program.

We strongly oppose the new requirement that at least 50% of the FFP account must be earmarked for purchasing US food aid or covering its ocean freight, as proposed in Sen. Boozman’s legislation. This requirement, originating from the American Farmers Feed the World Act, is something CRS does not support. Combining the new 50% cost requirement with limitations on USAID’s waiver authority could potentially force excessive use of commodities and undermine efficient aid distribution. Furthermore, this allocation would insufficiently fund transportation, tracking, and distribution beyond foreign ports, jeopardizing vital FFP Resilience Food Security Activities that aid communities in overcoming chronic hunger and reducing the need for future humanitarian assistance. 

We proudly utilize US commodities in our international food assistance programs, including FFP. However, addressing the global hunger crisis requires more than just giving out food. Programs must adapt to local market conditions and empower participating communities toward recovery and self-reliance. While we support keeping the “farm in the farm bill” and recognize we benefit from the productivity of American farmers, we also aim to strengthen farmers around the world. 

We urge the Senate Agricultural Committee to carefully consider our concerns about proposed changes to Food for Peace Title II by Sen. Boozman. CRS remains committed to working with all stakeholders toward bipartisan policy changes that enhance the effectiveness, efficiency, and reach of international food assistance programs, enabling them to serve more people effectively.”


Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, visit or and follow Catholic Relief Services on social media in English at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube; and in Spanish at: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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Robyn Fieser

Regional Marketing Manager - LACRO

Robyn Fieser
June 14, 2024

Based in Bogotá, Colombia

Robyn is the regional marketing manager for CRS in Latin America and the Caribbean. She raises awareness about CRS’ humanitarian and disaster relief programs, serving as a contact for key news outlets and coordinating coverage of emergency and development stories. From a base in Bogata, Colombia, she travels throughout the region to...More