February 5, 1982

The President today authorized the immediate release of an additional 70 million pounds of surplus cheese from the Commodity Credit Corporation's inventory. The Department of Agriculture will release the cheese without cost to States for distribution to needy persons.

Authorization for release of 30 million pounds was made on December 22, 1981. About 25 million pounds have already been ordered.

States will have until July 1, 1982, to order from the most recent authorization. Consideration will be given to specific requests from States for distribution, rather than by an allocation procedure. Agreements may be extended to those States having already signed for a portion of the original 30 million pounds.

As with the initial distribution, cheese must be distributed locally by charitable, non-profit organizations, including food banks. The cheese will be distributed in 5-pound blocks.

USDA's Food and Nutrition Service regional offices have signed agreements for the original 30 million pounds with 42 States, 16 of which have begun distribution. Agreements with the remaining States are in progress. No State has declined to participate.

About 547.4 million pounds of cheese are currently in the CCC inventory.