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USDA to Purchase $5 Million of Cranberry Concentrate

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is planning to purchase up to $5 million of cranberry concentrate for federal nutrition assistance programs and food banks.

The USDA's plan to purchase up to $5 million in cranberry concentrate from growers in Massachusetts will help support local farmers, a vital part of the economy of Southeastern Massachusetts.

United States Senators Elizabeth Warren and William "Mo" Cowan, along with Congressmen James McGovern, William Keating, and Joseph P. Kennedy III, applauded the decision in a press release from Warren's office:

"I'm pleased the USDA has announced plans to buy cranberry products for federal nutrition assistance programs," Senator Elizabeth Warren said. "This purchase will help support hardworking cranberry growers throughout Massachusetts who play an important role in our local economy and will provide our children with another drink alternative."

Congressman Keating helped co-found the Congressional Cranberry Caucus last year and said the purchase will help small business owners, calling cranberry growing a "historic industry" in his district, which includes Plymouth.

"I represent the largest number of cranberry growers across the state....It is great to see the efforts of the Caucus finally pay off," Keating said.

In March, a group of 14 U.S. Senators and Representatives, including Senators Warren and Cowan, and Congressmen McGovern, Keating, and Kennedy, signed a letter asking Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to purchase cranberry concentrate to support local cranberry growers. The letter was sent in response to possible adverse impacts on cranberry prices expected during the coming months. The full of text of this letter may be viewed here.

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