WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the USDA's intention to purchase up to $25 million of dry beans and up to $16.3 million of processed apple products for federal nutrition assistance programs.

USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service purchases a variety of high-quality food products each year to support the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast 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.

Government food experts work to ensure that all purchased food is healthful and nutritious. Food items are normally required to be low in fat, sugar and sodium. The commodities must meet specified grade requirements and be USDA-certified to ensure quality. AMS purchases only products of 100-percent domestic origin.