As required by Section 4202 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the Farm Bill) the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)
and Food and Nutrition Service (FNS)
are conducting a pilot project in up to eight States to provide selected States flexibility for using USDA Foods entitlement dollars for the procurement of unprocessed fruits and vegetables (includes products that are minimally processed such as sliced apples, baby carrots, and shredded lettuce) by permitting each State to (1) use multiple suppliers and products established and qualified by the Secretary and (2) allow geographic preference, if desired, in the procurement of the products under this pilot.
The goal of the Pilot Project for Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables is to develop additional opportunities for schools to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables with entitlement funding, while using pre-existing commercial distribution channels and school relationships with growers, produce wholesalers, and distributors. The pilot supports the use of locally-grown foods in school meal programs using entitlement funds.
To receive email updates from AMS, subscribe to AMS CP News (link)
and select “Unprocessed FV Pilot Project.”
For information about State and School Food Authority participation in the pilot project, visit the FNS website
Companies interested in being placed on the Pilot Project Eligible Vendor List should review the eligibility requirements before contacting AMS Commodity Procurement Staff. Please note that vendor eligibility for participation in this pilot project does not constitute approval to participate in other AMS’ commodity purchase programs (AMS solicitations and contract awards).
AMS maintains the list of “eligible vendors” from which participating states and schools may procure products under the pilot project:
In order to receive payment of delivered unprocessed fruits and vegetables, the eligible vendor must fill out and submit the Vendor/SDA Reporting Template
(in Microsoft Excel format), to FVPilotProject@ams.usda.gov