Recently, FNS has received a number of questions related to buying local meat, poultry, game, and eggs; this memorandum seeks to clarify the regulatory requirements related to food safety and answer specific questions related to these products with a series of questions and answers.
Authorized by 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 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.
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.
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.