Malnutrition And Food Aid Programs: A Case Study From Guatemala Page: 64
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presented. As an explanatory technique, food aid was examined in
light of the official United States food assistance program, PL-480
(Food For Peace). Then, for an appropriate example of an ongoing food
program in action, a brief ethnographical account of one food program
One conspicuously absent, but very important consideration is the
effect of food aid on nutrition and hunger. The majority of research
done on food programs makes very little mention of the importance of
food assistance to the nutritional well-being of the hungry. This
probably reflects the interests of researchers in the social, economic
and political ramifications of food aid. As a consequence, the majori-
ty of the literature is concerned with the nature of food aid in terms
of dependency, as a political weapon or its effect on agricultural
productivity and is more ideological than scientific in character. By
examining the impact of food assistance on nutrition, these other argu-
ments can either be substantiated or placed in a different perspective.
The primary function of food aid, whatever its political and
social ramifications, is to alleviate hunger. This fact underscores
the need for a scientific and systematic evaluation of the consequences
of food aid in terms of th'.s primary purpose. In the case of PL-480,
aside from all of its shortcomings, Wiseberg (1976: 114) states:
It is true that PL-480 food feeds hungry people and
can be the critical dete- ninant between life and
With this in mind, it seems that the ultimate question, in determining
whether food aid is a viable tool in combating hunger, which needs to
be answered is: Does the dnoated food help to improve the nutritional
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Rodeheaver, Daniel Gilbert, 1954-; Bates, Frederick L. & Murphy, Arthur D. Malnutrition And Food Aid Programs: A Case Study From Guatemala, report, May 1982; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc84342/m1/77/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Public Affairs and Community Service.