This notice announces the Food and Nutrition Service's (FNS) intent to continue to provide processors with an opportunity to participate in a demonstration project to test program changes in the state processing program. In the demonstration project, selected processors will be allowed to substitute donated beef and pork supplied by the Department of Agriculture (the Department, or USDA) with commercial beef and pork. Commercial beef and pork used in the demonstration project must meet the same specifications required of USDA donated beef and pork.
Currently, there are no processors in the demonstration project substituting donated beef and pork with commercial beef and pork. The demonstration project will continue through June 30, 2005; proposals for approval to participate must be submitted to FNS by April 30, 2004. Through the demonstration project, the Department hopes to determine if allowing this type of substitution will result in increased participation of processors, and provide a greater variety of processed end products to recipient agencies in a more timely manner and/or at lower costs.