Grassley Pushes for Quick Action on Government Purchase of Excess Pork
WASHINGTON – Senator Chuck Grassley today urged Department of Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer to act quickly to purchase excess pork products for the child nutrition and other domestic food assistance programs.
The Department of Agriculture announced yesterday that it would purchase up to $50 million of pork products. According to the Department, the Agricultural Marketing Service purchases a variety of high-quality food products each year for distribution by Food and Nutrition Service for the national school lunch program, the school breakfast program, the summer food service program, the food distribution program on Indian reservations, the nutrition program for the elderly, the commodity supplemental food program and the emergency food assistance program. The Department of Agriculture also makes emergency purchases of commodities for distribution to victims of natural disasters.
“Iowa pork producers are having a difficult time right now, and need some relief,” Grassley said. “USDA’s purchase couldn’t come at a better time and I hope they move as quickly as possible.”
Here is a copy of the text of Grassley’s letter to Schafer.
May 2, 2008
Secretary Ed Schafer
US Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave, SW
Washington, DC 20250
Dear Secretary Schafer,
I was pleased yesterday to see that the US Department of Agriculture has agreed to purchase up to $50 million of pork products which will be donated to child nutrition and other domestic food assistance programs. Over the past year, pork producers in the state of Iowa and across the nation have endured lower prices and higher input costs. I’m hearing on a daily basis from independent pork producers in my state that may be out of business in just a few short months if excess pork on the market isn’t effectively addressed.
I want to urge you to move as expeditiously as possible with the Section 32 purchase. The need for relief is immediate for our producers. In addition this purchase will provide an opportunity for Americans to enjoy a healthy and nutritious Iowa product.
Thank you for consideration of my request.
United States Senator