Section 4202 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (P.L. 113-79), otherwise known as the Farm Bill, amended Section 6 of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1755(f)) to provide for a pilot project for the procurement of unprocessed fruits and vegetables in not more than eight States receiving funds under Section 6. USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) will work closely with USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to implement this pilot project.
The pilot project will provide State Distributing Agencies (SDAs) in selected States additional flexibility in the procurement of unprocessed fruits and vegetables. School food authorities (SFAs) in selected States, or SDAs acting on behalf of participating SFAs, will be permitted to competitively solicit a USDA-approved vendor using USDA Foods National School Lunch Program (NSLP) entitlement funds. SDAs or SFAs will also be able to use pre-existing commercial distribution channels and relationships with growers, produce wholesalers, and distributors. Use of geographic preference, as allowed by FNS regulation, is permitted in the procurement of these products.
- Pilot Project for Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables: Request for Application Guidance and Procedures for Selection of States and Schools - This memorandum is a request for application and sets forth the guidance and procedures for interested SDAs to be considered for participation in the Pilot Project for Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables, with deliveries anticipated to begin in the middle of the 2014-2015 School Year (SY). Interested SDAs must submit an application no later than September 30, 2014 to be considered for selection beginning in SY 2014-2015.
- July 2014 Information Sheet: The Pilot Project for the Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables - An information sheet on the pilot program.
- Pilot Project for Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables - This website contains information and materials for vendors interested in participating in the pilot project.
- Webinar on the Pilot Project for Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables – USDA held a webinar on August 7, 2014 which outlined the Request for Application and provided an opportunity for States and School Food Authorities to ask questions about the pilot project.
- Questions and Answers Related to the Pilot Project for Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables - This memorandum is meant to clarify the procedures outlined in the Request for Application for NSLP SDAs and SFAs interested in participating in the pilot project.
FNS will conduct conference calls on August 7 and September 10 so that States considering applying may pose any questions they have about the pilot project. Further information about those calls will be provided in a separate communication. In the meantime, NSLP SDAs with questions regarding the pilot project and application should contact Carolyn Smalkowski at Carolyn.Smalkowski@fns.usda.gov, or 703-305-2674, or Christina Conell at Christina.Conell@fns.usda.gov, or 415-705-1353.
Webinar II on the Pilot Project for Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 from 2:00-3:00 PM EST
Call-in #: 1-800-369-1798 (toll-free) or 1-773-756-4798 (toll)/ Passcode: 8105558
LiveMeeting link: https://www.livemeeting.com/cc/usda/join?id=7MJQ68&role=attend/ Meeting ID: 7MJQ68