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Food Distribution

Pilot Project for Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables

Last Modified: 12/09/2014

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.

NSLP SDAs with questions regarding the pilot project 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.