North American Millers' Association Speaks Out for Food Aid ProgramsMarch 6, 2003
CONTACT: T.J. Cantwell, Coordinator Technical & Export Programs
From left to right: NAMA Chairman, John Gillcrist, president, Bartlett Milling Company; Rodney G. Bent, Deputy Associate Director, International Affairs Division, White House Office of Management & Budget; and NAMA International Trade Committee Vice Chairman, James A. Madich, vice president, Cargill/Horizon Milling.
Washington, DC – March 6, 2003. John Gillcrist, Chairman of the North American Millers’ Association (NAMA) and NAMA International Trade Committee Vice Chairman James A. Madich held meetings with Bush Administration officials on February 26 to stress the need to restore the funding for non-emergency food aid programs. Funding was cut back prior to the passage of the FY03 appropriations bill. Gillcrist is president of Bartlett Milling Company. Madich is vice president of Cargill/Horizon Milling.
“The U.S. should be investing in long-term non-emergency food aid programs in critical countries like Afghanistan and Tajikistan because these programs best demonstrate U.S. compassion and truly put our best foot forward,” Gillcrist emphasized during a meeting with Senator Sam Brownback (R-KS). “Food aid has benefits on both humanitarian and diplomatic levels at comparatively low cost to the government.” Mr. Gillcrist and Mr. Madich also expressed their appreciation for Senator Brownback’s leadership in securing additional funding for food aid programs in the recent omnibus spending bill.
Mr. Gillcrist and Mr. Madich met with officials from the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of Food for Peace and White House Office of Management and Budget. They discussed proposed feeding plans for North Korea and potentially post-war Iraq, the importance of nutrition in any HIV/AIDS program, and food aid priorities of the Administration. They encouraged an increase in the use of nutritious foods that consistently show positive impacts on malnourished populations.
“A number of our milling companies provide the nutritious and fortified processed foods used in feeding programs throughout the world,” stated Gillcrist. “NAMA is concerned that during these times of tight budgets, programs that provide critical nutrition to millions will be cut back.”
In other activities, Mr. Gillcrist and Mr. Madich attended a Friends of the World Food Program reception, of which NAMA was a sponsor. Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) and the former Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Program, Catherine Bertini, were among those honored for their support of food aid. Also in attendance were representatives from Congress, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.