In Haiti, for instance, WFP prepositions supplies for the upcoming rainy season so whole communities will not get cut off from food if roads wash away. Like ARA, the WFP meets up with many logistical hurdles caused by weather, conflict, or lack of infrastructure.
For the ARA to feed Russia in 1921-1923, it needed funding from Congress as well as donations from the public. It required the cooperation of partner charities as well.
In 2011, Congress is working on a new federal budget in which international food aid has been drastically slashed. There are intensive efforts to restore this funding as it impacts millions of lives around the globe.
If funding cuts pass, then the World Food Programme will receive far less support from the United States. Partner agencies such as Catholic Relief Services, World Vision and Save the Children will also receive less funding.
During the Russian famine, funding from Congress allowed surplus corn to be purchased from American farmers and sent to Russia. In addition, the ARA received help from partner charities who were each assigned areas of Russia to carry out relief.
With current relief work, partnerships on the ground are critical between WFP and charities. WFP, as an example, provides logistical support for the whole humanitarian community in different countries. This allows all kinds of relief supplies to reach their destination. Partner agencies will often distribute food purchased by WFP.
When the Great Famine airs on PBS, you will learn the history of American generosity. You will see the lead food ambassador, Herbert Hoover, proving leadership is needed to fight hunger. This story can set an example for what is needed to continue that great American tradition as the world's hungry call out for help.