Food Distribution

Pilot Project for Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables

Last Modified: 09/05/2014

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.

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