Broiler parts, frozen and in retail-consumer pack or in institutional pack are the products USDA will purchase in the $40 million program announced this week by the department. In its request for proposals, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) noted that “a limited volume of product may be purchased for distribution to institutional food assistance programs.”

AMS must receive offers by 1:00 p.m. Central Time on Monday, August 29, 2011.  Awards will be announced by midnight  Thursday, September 8.  Delivery of product “shall begin October 1 for bi-monthly delivery periods,” according to AMS.  AMS said the bonus buy (surplus removal) announced on August 15, 2011, for up to $40 million of broiler chicken parts, to be distributed to federal food assistance program recipients “will provide a much-needed source of high-quality protein to recipients of federal food assistance programs; will provide immediate direct market support to the U.S. domestic chicken industry; and will assist in alleviating the current depressed market conditions.”

“This purchase will provide welcome assistance to thousands of families in these challenging economic times.  It will also provide support to the broiler industry and the many small independent poultry growers that depend on the industry for their livelihood.  Broiler producers have already cut production substantially and this purchase will help them bring supply in line with demand,”  Agriculture Secretary Vilsack said.

National Chicken Council President Mike Brown said “at a time when the industry is under great stress due to the high cost of feed ingredients and the general economic slowdown, we appreciate USDA’s willingness to step forward and acquire additional chicken for various feeding programs.  Thanks to prevailing price trends, the government is getting a bargain on high-quality food to help meet the nutritional needs of the clients of these programs, while the industry is getting some relief from excessive inventories.”  “Chicken is always a popular item for food banks and other feeding programs and we are pleased to be able to participate in these programs and grateful for USDA’s timely action,” Brown added.

Information about the program is available on the AMS web site