USDA Boosts Support for U.S. Pork Industry with $78.6 Million Purchase for Food Assistance Programs

In a move to bolster the struggling U.S. pork industry, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the purchase of an additional 33.5 million pounds of pork, valued at over $78.6 million, for distribution to various food nutrition and assistance programs. Utilizing funds from its Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), this purchase follows an earlier procurement of $25 million worth of pork earlier in the year under Section 32 of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1935.

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) has lauded the USDA’s decision, emphasizing the importance of such initiatives in supporting American pork producers amidst challenging market conditions. The NPPC expressed its commitment to collaborating with the USDA to explore further avenues of assistance for the industry.

The significance of this purchase cannot be overstated, particularly against the backdrop of the U.S. pork industry’s enduring economic challenges. Over the past 18 months, producers have grappled with significant losses, with some facing losses averaging $30 to $60 per hog marketed in 2023 alone. The infusion of pork into food assistance programs not only stabilizes the hog and wholesale pork markets but also ensures access to affordable, nutritious pork products for recipients of USDA assistance programs.

As the industry continues to navigate turbulent economic waters, this proactive measure by the USDA underscores the government’s commitment to supporting American agriculture and ensuring the resilience of vital sectors like pork production.