Food aid reduces local incentives to produce food, causes damaging shifts in food habits (away from local staples to imported wheat; away from breastfeeding to powdered milk), and undermines the cultural cohesiveness of the recipient country by introducing new cultural concepts which may be readily adopted but intrinsically disruptive to the traditional way of life.
Feeding the poor feeds poverty itself.
Properly managed, food aid can lead to food self-sufficiency. For example, food can be used as wages in food-for-work projects, or in land development and land improvement projects. It can also be used as interim supplies for land settlement and land reform schemes and in supplementary feeding for vulnerable groups. In addition, it can be purchased in other developing countries, thus contributing to regional self-sufficiency in food.