WASHINGTON – The US Department of Agriculture plans to spend $5 million to buy lamb products for federal nutrition assistance programs, according to the agency's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS).

AMS buys a variety of food products annually to support the National School Lunch Program, the Summer Food Service Program, the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program and the Emergency Food Assistance Program. USDA also makes emergency food purchases for distribution to victims of natural disasters.

“The domestic lamb industry faces various market challenges. Increased imports, weather problems and excess supply have added new pressures on the industry,” said Anne Alonzo, AMS administrator. “This purchase will help relieve pressure on American lamb producers and will help mitigate further downward prices, stabilize market conditions and provide high quality, nutritious food to recipients of USDA's nutrition programs."