USDA will donate about $50 million worth of government-owned bulk commodities to U.S. food processors in exchange for further processed agricultural products that will be distributed through domestic and international food assistance programs.
The uncommitted commodities were acquired through forfeiture under the Marketing Assistance Loan Program. If additional commodities are forfeited, they could be distributed through the same process.
The barter initiative will provide benefits to those in need both domestically and internationally, and it will save taxpayers' dollars by reducing government costs while enhancing storage space available for 2007 crops, according to USDA.
Domestic food assistance programs will receive 80 percent of the value of the commodities that are stored by USDA. This initiative will provide additional commodities to food banks and other entities to help meet food assistance needs.