Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced USDA's intention to purchase $29.1 million worth of blueberry, pear, potato, peach and mixed fruit products for federal food nutrition assistance programs.
"These purchases will help stabilize prices and markets, stimulate the economy and provide high quality, nutritious food to schools and food banks while assisting blueberry, pear, potato, peach and mixed fruit producers," said Vilsack.
USDA intends to purchase up to $9 million of fresh potatoes. The department will seek the lowest overall costs by surveying potential suppliers and publicly inviting bids to assure contracts are awarded to responsible bidders.
These healthy food purchases will go 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, programs that frequently provide food to children in need.
U.S. Reps Walt Minnick and Mike Simpson (both of Idaho) praised the news.