Release No. 0224.10
Billy Cox (202) 720-8998
USDA Announces Upcoming Purchases of
Commodities for Federal Food and Nutrition Assistance Programs
WASHINGTON, April 30, 2010 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today
announced USDA's plan to purchase $161.4 million in a wide variety of foods for
federal food and nutrition assistance programs.
"These purchases are a 'win-win' because they help provide healthy food to
kids and families throughout the country, while benefiting producers by
providing a customer for these products," Vilsack said.
The purchases will be for up to $40 million of beef products; $2 million of
lamb products; $5 million of catfish; $32 million of fresh and processed apple
products; $1.1 million of blackberries; $21 million of red tart cherries; $18
million of cranberry products; $5 million of dried figs; $9.3 million of dried
plums; $18 million of potatoes; $7 million of strawberries; and $3 million of
fresh and canned pears.
A number of economic factors have led to surpluses, so these purchases will
help alleviate the stress caused by higher inventories and low prices that
farmers and ranchers are receiving for their commodities. In addition, these
food purchases will help support local food banks and other national nutrition
programs by providing a wide variety of products. Products include 100% fruit
juices, fresh and processed apple products, and lean meat products.
The USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) purchases a wide variety of
food products each year to support the National School Lunch Program, the School
Breakfast Program, the Summer Food Service Program, and the Food Distribution
Program on Indian Reservations, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program and The
Emergency Food Assistance Program. USDA also makes emergency food purchases for
distribution to victims of natural disasters.
Government food experts work to ensure that all purchased food is healthful
and nutritious. Food items are required to meet limits on fat, sugar and sodium.
Canned fruit products must be packaged in light or extra-light syrup, or fruit
juice. The food items also must meet specified grade requirements and be
USDA-certified to ensure quality. AMS purchases only products of 100 percent
For more information on purchase details, interested suppliers should contact
the Contracting Officer, which can be found on AMS Web page:
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