This paper reviews trends and issues in food aid from the 1980s through to the early 2000s. It highlights key changes during that period and potential influences on the coming years. The first section considers major influences on food aid supply and trends in food and usage since the 1980s. The second addresses a number of emerging issues that may have an increasing significance for the food aid debate in the next few years. A concluding section draws broad lessons from the overview in the context of the concern that even if global trends are positive, the pace of change is too slow in most countries to meet the hugely important World Food Summit and Millenium Goals.