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Evaluation of Pilot Project for Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables

Last Published: 03/30/2018

Authorized by Section 4202 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (P.L. 113-79, the 2014 Farm Bill), the USDA Pilot Project for Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables was designed to provide States with additional flexibility in the procurement of unprocessed fruits and vegetables. Participating States and school food authorities (SFAs) can purchase approved items with existing USDA Foods National School Lunch Program entitlement funds from any USDA Pilot-authorized vendor in support of the school meal standards.

Using administrative purchase data from three school years (SY 2013-2014, 2014-2015, 2015-2016) and qualitative interview data with State Distributing Agency officials, the evaluation examines the quantity and cost of each type of fruit and vegetable in the Pilot, characteristics of participating school food authorities, States’ perceptions of the challenges and benefits to participation, and comparisons to USDA Foods and USDA Department of Defense Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.