The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced plans to purchase chicken products for surplus removal of dark meat parts.  According to the latest report from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, chicken leg quarters on June 30, 2013 were 138.7 million pounds, 157 percent when compared with the inventory level a year earlier.

“There has been a significant build-up in dark meat chicken parts in cold storage,”  NCC President Mike Brown said in a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack requesting a special purchase program for dark meat parts before the fiscal year ends September 12.

“While the over-supply of dark meat is a burden to producers/processors, it is, at the same time, an excellent opportunity to provide high-quality, wholesome protein to recepients who may not be economically able to benefit from this product. Such a timely purchase program will prove to be a most worthwhile measure to help balance the white meat/dark meat situation for the chicken market,” Brown said.

AMS purchases a variety of high-quality food products each year to support the National School Lunch Program, the Summer Food Service Program, the Food Distribution Progam on Indian Reservations, the Commodity Supplmental Food Program and the Emergency Food Assistance Program.  USDA also makes emergency food purchases for distribution to victims of natural disasters.

The solication will be issued in the near future for delivery from November 1, 2013 through February 26, 2014.  The purchase announcement is available here .