U.S.D.A. purchasing fresh pears

by Josh Sosland
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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Nov. 25 announced plans to purchase up to $2.2 million of small fresh Bartlett pears for food assistance programs.

Pears that are sizes 110 through 150 will qualify for the U.S.D.A. program. Pear sizes are based on the number that fit into a standard 44-lb box. Sizes run from 50 to 193, with the larger the number, the smaller the pear size.

“With this potential purchase, U.S.D.A. provides welcome assistance to thousands of families in these challenging economic times,” said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. “U.S.D.A. is committed to ensuring that all families in the United States have access to nutritious foods, which help them stay healthy, active and able to win their future.”

The purchases will be made by the department’s Agricultural Marketing Service, which buys foods in support of 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.

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