"These purchases will assist pork, cherry, plum and apple producers, who are currently struggling due to depressed market conditions," said Vilsack. "Today's actions will help stabilize prices and markets, stimulate the economy, and provide high quality food to Americans in need of USDA's nutrition assistance programs."
USDA intends to purchase $50 million of pork, $12.2 million of tart cherries, $1.8 million of dried plums and $18.6 million of apples. The Department will seek the lowest overall costs by surveying potential suppliers and publicly inviting bids to assure contracts are awarded to responsible bidders.
The pork purchase will help farmers greatly reduce their sow herd in a market where production costs continue to exceed market value.
Each year, USDA purchases a variety of high-quality food products to support the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, the Summer Food Service Program, 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.
For more information on purchase details, interested suppliers should contact the appropriate Contracting Officer for each commodity program, which can be found at www.ams.usda.gov/cp