Commodity Distribution to Other Programs

The USDA also donates food commodities to a variety of programs. The largest donations go to school food programs at more than 94,000 public

Workers prepare to redistribute surplus foods purchased by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA's commodity foods programs serve a dual purpose, maintaining the price of certain food products and ensuring that at-risk populations get the food they need. [Photograph by Ken Hammond. USDA. Reproduced by permission.]

Workers prepare to redistribute surplus foods purchased by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA's commodity foods programs serve a dual purpose, maintaining the price of certain food products and ensuring that at-risk populations get the food they need. [Photograph by Ken Hammond. USDA. Reproduced by permission.]

and private nonprofit schools. During 2002, the USDA spent over $700 million on over a billion pounds of commodity foods for Schools/Child Nutrition Commodity Programs. Commodity food donations are also made to the Child and Adult Care Food Program and the nutrition programs for the elderly administered by the Department of Health and Human Services. Food commodities are also distributed to nonprofit, charitable institutions that serve meals to low-income people on a regular basis. These include homes for the elderly, hospitals, soup kitchens, food banks, Meals On Wheels programs, temporary shelters, and summer camps or orphanages not participating in any federal child nutrition program.

For these programs, states select a variety of foods from a list of one hundred different kinds of products. Typical foods include fruits and vegetables; meats; cheese; dry and canned beans; fruit juices; vegetable shortening and vegetable oils; peanut products; rice, pasta products, flour, and other grain products. Additional foods may be offered to states periodically, if they become available as agricultural surpluses. Additional products donated in previous years have included applesauce, beef roasts, dried fruit products, fresh pears, frozen apricots, nonfat dry milk, orange juice, pork products, salmon, and turkey. see also Native Americans, Diet of; Nutrition Programs in the Community; School Food Service; WIC Program.

Marie Boyle Struble

Bibliography

Boyle, Marie A. (2003). "Food Insecurity and the Food Assistance Programs." In Community Nutrition in Action: An Entrepreneurial Approach, 3rd edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.

Food Research and Action Center (2002). State of the States: A Profile of Food and Nutrition Programs Across the Nation. Washington, DC: Author.

Internet Resources

  1. S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service. "Nutrition Program Fact Sheets." Available from <http://www.fns.usda.gov>
  2. S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service. "Food Distribution Programs." Available from <http://www.fns.usda.gov/fdd>
  3. S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service. "Healthy Eating in Indian Country Fliers." Available from <http://www.fns.usda.gov/fdd>

cardiovascular: related to the heart and circulatory system cancer: uncontrolled cell growth diet: the total daily food intake, or the types of foods eaten fat: type of food molecule rich in carbon and hydrogen, with high energy content obesity: the condition of being overweight, according to established norms based on sex, age, and height

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