AMS No. 269-12
Sam Jones-Ellard (202) 660-2268
WASHINGTON, December 7, 2012 – Marketing and Regulatory Programs Under Secretary Edward Avalos has announced USDA's intent to make available up to $25 million to purchase approximately 300 million pounds of fresh potatoes and processed potato products for federal food nutrition assistance programs, including food banks.
“The combination of high levels of production of fresh potatoes, elevated frozen inventory, and a lowering of demand from domestic and export markets has suppressed prices paid for potato products.” said Avalos. “This purchase will help relieve pressure on American potato producers and will help mitigate further downward prices, stabilize market conditions, and provide high quality, nutritious food to recipients of USDA's nutrition programs."
USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) purchases a variety of high-quality food products each year 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.
Government food experts work to ensure that all purchased food is healthful and nutritious. Food items are required to be low in fat, sugar and sodium. The commodities must meet specified requirements and be certified to ensure quality. AMS purchases only products of 100 percent domestic origin. This purchase is based on analyses of current market conditions.
For more information or purchase details, interested suppliers should contact, in writing: Contracting Officer, USDA/AMS Commodity Procurement Staff, Stop 0256, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250; telephone (202) 720-4517; or visit the AMS website at www.ams.usda.gov
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