How much ham can the government buy for $1.19 million? The question arose Monday after the Drudge Report suggested the answer was a mere two pounds.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Monday his agency bought 760,000 pounds of ham with funds from the $787 billion stimulus. Vilsack confirmed the purchase after the Drudge Report posted several contracts from the government’s stimulus website. T he contracts suggest the administration spent $1.19 million on two pounds of ham.

 “Press reports suggesting that the Recovery Act spent $1.19 million to buy ‘2 pounds of ham’ are wrong,” Vilsack declared. “In fact, the contract in question purchased 760,000 pounds of ham for $1.191 million, at a cost of approximately $1.50 per pound.”

The contracts did not  indicate how much food was purchased with the stimulus funds. Vilsack said the ham, and other food, including 837,936 pounds of mozzarella, would be used for food programs to aid those suffering the most from the effects of the recession.

Read Vilsack statement.

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