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.
- USDA Selects States for Participation in the Pilot Project for Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables – The December 8, 2014 press release which announces the States selected to participate in the pilot project.
- Pilot Project for Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables - This website contains information and materials for vendors interested in participating in the pilot project.
- Evaluation of the Pilot Project for Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables - This 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 the USDA Department of Defense Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program for the first two years of the Pilot.
- Participating SFAs – This document lists, by State, the SFAs participating in the pilot project for SY 2017-2018. Please note that this list is subject to change throughout the pilot and will be updated accordingly.
- Contact information - The list contains the contact information for each State administering the pilot, as well as the main USDA contacts.
For general inquiries, please email the FNS Pilot Mailbox at UnprocessedFVPilot@fns.usda.gov