Commodity info arrives online

The Commodity Food Network

The Agriculture Department launched an online resource for one-stop information about commodities.

The Commodity Food Network allows schools, community feeding organizations, state agencies and Native American tribal organizations to access information on resources about and distribution of commodities, USDA officials said. A list of "commodity programs" on the site includes items such as beef, fish, pork, vegetables, poultry and eggs."

The network is a part of a business process re-engineering project launched in 2000 that aims to streamline commodity distribution programs and ensure that they are cost effective and customer-friendly, officials said.

"The project also supports President Bush's e-government initiative by effectively using the Internet as a one-stop shopping for information," USDA Secretary Ann Veneman said in a statement. "The Commodity Food Network allows us to better serve low-income families, state and local agencies, schools, and our partners in food and agriculture who are involved in the USDA commodity programs."

The food distribution programs are administered by the USDA's Food and Nutrition Service.

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