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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release February 10, 2000
                         OVERSEAS FOOD AID PROGRAM

     Los Angeles, CA -- Vice President Al Gore announced today that the

Department of Agriculture (USDA) will donate approximately 3 million additional tons of surplus U.S. agricultural commodities as food aid under USDA's Section 416(b) food donation authority. President Clinton directed USDA to take this action. The President announced a similar food donations directive in July 1998. With today's announcement, U.S. food donations planned for fiscal year 2000 now total about 9 million tons, roughly the same level as US donations made in 1999.

"We are using abundant food supplies generated by American farmers to help relieve hunger and suffering around the world." said Vice President Al Gore. "Using surplus commodities in this way also helps our farmers, who are suffering rock-bottom prices for a third straight year."

"This is a win-win," said Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman. "Food assistance helps American farmers reduce surpluses and helps feed hungry people around the world."

Commodities to be donated include wheat, soybeans and soy products, rice, and milk powder, with about 75% of the donations consisting of wheat and wheat flour. In the coming weeks the Administration will announce the likely recipient countries and products to be donated. USDA will negotiate donation agreements with the recipient countries and aid agencies, based on an initial assessment of the level of need and plan for distribution.

The commodities to be donated will be taken from existing USDA stocks or purchased by USDA's Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), using CCC Charter Act authority, through normal commercial channels. They then will be donated to and distributed by recipient countries, private voluntary organizations, or the World Food Program of the United Nations. The donations are authorized pursuant to Section 416(b) of the Agricultural Act of 1949. The CCC Charter Act and 1949 Act provide authority for CCC to buy, sell, lend and donate surplus agricultural commodities, products thereof, and related facilities.