U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) today applauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) announcement that it will purchase up to $2 million worth of lamb products to support existing nutrition programs. The announcement follows Johnson's request earlier this year that the agency purchase high-quality, high-protein American products to support food banks, which have seen a spike in demand during the economic downturn.
"I have been to many food banks across South Dakota and they have experienced a significant increase in demand over the last several years," said Johnson. "I am pleased that USDA will purchase high-protein lamb products raised by American farmers to help feed the many individuals who rely on food assistance as they try to get back on their feet."
In March, Johnson and 14 other Senators urged the USDA to purchase protein products for participants in the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which supports food banks around the country. One in eight Americans now use food banks each year. From 2006 to 2010, the number of individuals served at food banks increased by 46 percent.
Interested South Dakota suppliers should visit the AMS website at www.ams.usda.gov or write to: Contracting Officer, USDA/AMS Commodity Procurement Division, Stop 0256, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250; telephone (202) 720-4476.