Safeguard ‘food for peace’


To the Editor:
In Laudato Si’, Pope Francis entreats us to listen to the cry of the poor. Right now, the global outlook for food in the coming winter is not good. Many will go hungry. While food prices in the U.S. are rising, limiting households in what they can afford to buy, it is a global problem with many components.   

Recent “revenge” strikes of Russian missiles on Ukraine suggests that the soon-to-expire agreement between Ukraine and Russia to allow grain shipments out of Ukraine may not be renewed or at least not quickly.   

A strong U.S. dollar, high commodity prices and rising interest rates are taking a toll on countries in North Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia. They struggle to buy commodities that their people depend on through government-subsidized grain. 

Changing weather has created winners and losers in grain production in the U.S. and globally.  While some grain producers who received timely rains are expected to have very good crops, producers in drought-stricken areas have significantly lower production, even within our own state. Grain also provides animal feed. 


Low water levels hamper barge traffic on the Mississippi River, a major grain artery. The third-largest railway union has rejected a contract offer that may result in a rail strike, stopping grain movements.  

We are all one human family and what affects some affects all.  Simple solutions are not possible. We must pray for peace in Ukraine. We must pray for Congress to legislate appropriately — to safeguard the “food for peace” elements of the Farm Bill and to expand them and other food programs. We need to support Catholic Relief Services in their work with local farmers on techniques to enhance food production in struggling countries. We need to support local food pantries and to reduce waste in our purchase and consumption of food.  

Glenn Leach
St. Ann’s Parish, Long Grove, IA

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