USDA Purchases Tomatoes

Produce will be distributed through food and nutrition programs.

The USDA intends to purchase up to 3.6 million pounds of fresh tomatoes for child nutrition and other domestic food assistance programs. Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer made the announcement Wednesday and the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service will award contracts to bidders who meet the criteria.

Food items normally are required to be low in fat, sugar and sodium. The commodities must meet specified grade requirements and be USDA-inspected or graded to ensure quality. AMS purchases only products of 100% domestic origin.

These products will be distributed through the USDA's Food and Nutrition Service to among others 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.

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