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Pilot Project for Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables

Section 4202 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (PL 113-79), otherwise known as the Farm Bill, amended Section 6 of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 USC 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) works closely with USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to implement this pilot project.

The pilot project provides 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, are permitted to competitively solicit a USDA-approved vendor using USDA Foods National School Lunch Program entitlement funds. SDAs or SFAs can also 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.

For general inquiries, please email the FNS pilot mailbox at

Page updated: March 19, 2024