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Advocates Again Defend School Meals

Kara Flynn, a spokeswoman for the National Pork Producers Council, responded that this was "an anti-meat attack as usual," as PCRM is known to have a vegetarian bias. FRAC, an advocacy organization trying to get more children enrolled in school meal programs, describes PCRM claims as "absurd," since school lunches provide about one-third of a child's nutrient needs and are designed to meet USDA dietary guidelines.

"They have very definite portion sizes, and none of the portion sizes are what I would call 'super-size,'" comments Lynn Parker, director of FRAC child nutrition programs. "We're not seeing high-calorie sodas as part of lunch. We're not seeing dessert items as a large part of lunch."

More Wic Funding For Wic

President Bush plans to propose record-level funding—$4.77 billion—for USDA's Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program in his 2004 budget request. This is a $43 million increase over the FY 2003 request and a $737 million increase since FY 2000. The request includes an additional $25 million to support child obesity prevention projects and breastfeeding programs.

Turkey Taco Filing

USDA has purchased up to 439,000 lbs. of frozen cooked turkey taco filling, ending the program.

Deli-style Turkey Breast

USDA has purchased 560,000 lbs. of deli-style turkey breast, for delivery February 16-28. Buys are nearing completion. At FSD presstime, cumulative purchases since program inception June 7, 2002, include 7.7 million lbs. of deli-style turkey breast and 1.9 million lbs. of deli-style smoked turkey breast.

Frozen Pork Program

USDA has purchased 560,280 lbs. of boneless pork leg roasts, for shipment February 1-15. The program is nearing completion. At FSD presstime, purchases since program inception June 25, 2002, include 10.9 million lbs. of boneless pork picnics and 5.2 million lbs. of pork leg roasts.

Frozen Ham Program

USDA has purchased 396,000 lbs. of frozen hams, for delivery February 16-28. The program is nearing completion. The latest buys include 360,000 lbs. of 10-lb. hams and 36,000 lbs. of 3-lb. hams. At FSD presstime, cumulative purchases since program inception July 2, 2002, include: 9.6 million lbs. of 10-lb. hams, frozen; 108,000 lbs. of 10-lb. hams, chilled; and 3.6 million lbs. of 3-lb. hams, frozen.

Frozen Beef

USDA has purchased 2.4 million lbs. of frozen beef for reprocessing. Shipment: February 16-28. At FSD presstime, frozen beef purchases since program inception June 20, 2002, include: 50.1 million lbs. of reprocessing beef; 47 million lbs. of fine-ground; 5.4 million lbs. of VPP patties; 3.6 million lbs. of 100% patties; 1.3 million lbs. of lean patties; and 4 million lbs. of fine ground (1-lb.).

Cooked Pork Products

USDA has purchased 2.1 million lbs. of frozen cooked pork products, for shipment February 16-28. Buys include: 240,000 lbs. of Sloppy Joe (4-lb.); 480,000 lbs. (5-, 8-, 10-lb.); 120,000 lbs. of taco filling (4-lb.); and 1.2 million lbs. of taco filling (5-, 8-, 10-lb.). At FSD presstime, purchases since program inception September 9, 2002, include 1.8 million lbs. of Sloppy Joe and 1.9 million lbs. of taco filling. No purchases of breaded pork patties had as yet been made.

Chicken & Chicken Products

USDA has purchased 5.4 million lbs. of chicken and chicken products, for delivery February 16-28. Buys include: 760,000 lbs. of cut-up chicken; 78,000 lbs. of batter/breaded chicken; 540,000 lbs. of chilled bulk pack (small); 4 million lbs. of chilled bulk pack (large); and 72,000 lbs. of chilled bulk pack (drumsticks). At FSD presstime, cumulative purchases since program inception May 13, 2002, include: 15 million lbs. of cut-up chicken; 8.7 million lbs. of batter/breaded chicken; 10.3 million lbs. of chilled bulk pack (small); 67.1 million lbs. of chilled bulk pack (large); 540,000 lbs. of chilled bulk pack (thighs); and 396,000 lbs. of chilled bulk pack (drumsticks).

Frozen Cooked Diced Chicken

USDA has purchased 1.1 million lbs. of frozen cooked diced chicken, for delivery Feb. 16-28. At FSD presstime, cumulative purchases since program inception June 20, 2002, include: 7.8 million lbs. of diced chicken and 3.9 million lbs. of diced chicken produced from light fowl.

Turkey and Turkey Products

USDA has purchased 2.2 million lbs. of turkey and turkey products, for delivery February 16-28. Buys include: 576,000 lbs. of bulk pack; 840,000 lbs. of roasts; and 800,000 lbs. of hams. At FSD presstime, cumulative purchases since program inception May 7, 2002, include: 3.6 million lbs. of consumer pack; 16.3 million lbs. of bulk pack; 20.4 million lbs. of roasts; and 12.4 million lbs. of hams.

Canned Pears

USDA has purchased 6/10 pears for delivery February 16-June 30. Buys include: 55,632 cases or 2.2 million lbs. of sliced pears; 58,368 cases or 2.3 million lbs. of diced pears; and 34,656 cases or 1.4 million lbs. of pear halves.

Canned Peaches

USDA has purchased 6/10 peaches, for delivery February 16-June 30. Buys include 128,592 cases or 5.1 million lbs. of sliced peaches and 31,920 cases or 1.3 million lbs. of diced peaches.

Canned Tomato Products

USDA has purchased the following 6/10 tomato products for delivery March 1-June 30: 10,032 cases of tomatoes; 29,184 cases of tomato paste; 33,744 cases of diced tomatoes; 63,840 cases of salsa; 35,568 cases of tomato sauce; 67,592 cases of spaghetti sauce. Also, the tomato buy includes 432 drums of 55-gal. tomato paste.

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