USDA Buying 11 Million Pounds Of Surplus Cheese For Food Pantries

Image courtesy of dn1967b

Earlier this year, we shared the news that there’s too much cheese in this country: enough that every person in the United States would have to eat three pounds to get rid of it all. Instead of distributing it that way, the U.S. Department of Agriculture plans to distribute it to people in need of nutritious food through pantries and through its own programs.

The most familiar food distribution programs to most Americans would be WIC, which provides food and formula to pregnant women and families with young children, and school lunch and breakfast programs. The USDA also distributes commodity foods to low-income senior citizens and families.

A key cheese distribution point will be food pantries: the combination of families in need and farmers coping with low dairy prices and a record high cheese surplus. Governments buying up food surplus programs

“We understand that the nation’s dairy producers are experiencing challenges due to market conditions and that food banks continue to see strong demand for assistance,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement.

The government spent about $20 million to buy 11 million pounds of cheese from “private inventories,” or warehouses full of cheese that no one wanted to buy.

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