The Department of Defense Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program allows schools to use their USDA Foods entitlement dollars to buy fresh produce. The program, operated by DoD’s Defense Logistics Agency, began in SY 1994-95 as a pilot in eight states. As of 2013, schools in 46 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam participate; schools are anticipated to receive more than $100 million worth of produce through the program during SY 2012-13.
This memorandum and its attachment supersede SP-37-2011, Child Nutrition 2010: Enhancing the School Food Safety Program. Attached are questions and answers regarding the school food safety requirements for schools participating in FNS child nutrition programs.
This memorandum satisfies GAO’s recommendations for the Food and Nutrition Service to issue more specific guidance to states and school districts regarding the applicability of the food safety inspections requirement in schools that do not prepare food, such as those that only serve pre-packaged meals or meals delivered from a central preparation location (referred to in this memorandum as service-only sites).
The purpose of this proposed rule is to incorporate this procurement option in the programs' regulations and to define the term "unprocessed locally grown or locally raised agricultural products'' to ensure that both the intent of Congress in providing for such a procurement option is met and that any such definition will facilitate ease of implementation for institutions participating in the child nutrition programs.
A number of schools nationwide are still having difficulty obtaining the two food safety inspections required by the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004. Although FNS realizes that many of the difficulties schools face are beyond their control, we would like to stress that local program operators are responsible for requesting the food safety inspections from the public health department and documenting their efforts.
This memo clarifies how the food safety inspection requirement is to be carried out by program operators on military bases, Indian reservations and Residential Child Care Institutions (RCCIs).