WASHINGTON – An additional $30 million in pork products will be purchased in FY 2009 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for federal food and nutrition assistance programs, according to the American Meat Institute. This move will also help move more pork for the struggling U.S. pork chain.

U.S.D.A. has purchased approximately $151 million in pork products this year for food and nutrition assistance programs through annual appropriation and Recovery Act funding. The agency’s announcement was made after A.M.I. and the National Pork Producers Council met earlier this week with U.S.D.A. officials and key appropriators to explain the plight of pork producers, packers and processors and the need for this additional pork purchase.

"These purchases will assist pork producers who are currently struggling due to depressed market conditions … This action will help mitigate further downward prices, stabilize market conditions, stimulate the economy and provide high quality, nutritious food to recipients of U.S.D.A.'s nutrition programs," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.