As with much of the development business, food aid practitioners employ a bewildering array of opaque terms and peculiar acronyms that can make it a bit difficult for outsiders to comprehend even the broad contours, much less the details, of conceptual, policy and operational debates. This brief chapter, supplemented by the Glossary at the end of the book, aims to introduce the basic concepts, terminology, and patterns that must be understood prior to serious reflection on the role and design of an effective food aid strategy.