Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand said the U.S. Department of Agriculture will use up to $18 million to purchase concord grape juice for use in domestic nutrition programs across the country.
The senators said they pushed the USDA to help purchase some of the surplus product to ensure the continued success of concord grape growers in New York and nationwide.
Schumer and Gillibrand said the purchase of concord grape juice is great news for growers in the Finger Lakes, western and central New York and will be used to supplement the USDA’s supply for nutrition programs, such as the school lunch program.
“The USDA’s decision to purchase surplus Concord grapes is a major victory for New York growers and individuals across the state receiving nutrition assistance,” Schumer said. “More juice sales mean more profit for our growers … as well as increased access to healthier foods for those in need.”