The U.S. Department of Agriculture will buy up to $14 million of dark chicken meat for federal food nutrition assistance. According to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the purchase will help producers with increasing dark meat cold storage inventories and a decreasing wholesale price, while providing food banks and other federal food nutrition assistance program recipients with healthy products.

The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service buys a variety of food products each year to support a number of federal nutrition programs and to distribute to natural disaster victims. 


The National Chicken Council thanked Vilsack for the purchase, and, citing a prolonged trade dispute with Russia, said the timely action will reduce excess product inventory and provide food to needy people in the U.S.

Normally, U.S. chicken producers sell more than 1.5 billion pounds of chicken legs to Russia each year. But the country banned U.S. chicken imports in January because many American plants use a chlorine wash to process chickens.