This year, our country is in the midst of a record-breaking cheese surplus. And while extra cheese is usually cause for celebration, in this case, it means that hard-working dairy farmers are having a hard time moving their product. U.S. agricultural officials decided to do what any cheese-loving American would, and volunteered to buy the extra cheese—$20 million worth of it.
The decision came on Tuesday after an event in La Crosse, Wisconsin, The Wall Street Journal reports. In August of this year, the USDA agreed to buy $20 million of cheese (or about 11 million pounds) to help with the surplus, but only about $7 million was used before the end of the fiscal year in September. Now USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack says the government plans to buy an additional $20 million of cheddar cheese in order to keep prices from plummeting. All that dairy goodness will be given to food banks and other food assistance programs.
"While our analysis predicts the market will improve for these hardworking men and women, reducing the surplus can give them extra reassurance while also filling demand at food banks and other organizations that help our nation's families in need," Vilsack said in a statement.
According to Cheese Reporter, cheddar barrels were about $1.60 per pound as of September 20, so that means the government is buying up (very) roughly 12.5 million pounds of cheese—or as USA Today puts it, enough to make 5,900,000 grilled cheese sandwiches.
[h/t USA Today]
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