Request For Proposals Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to receive all the details about this program?
A.  USDA will post pertinent details regarding this program to the Agricultural Marketing Service  website. Interested parties may also sign up for emails by subscribing to Stay Up To Date on USDA Food Purchases.

Q.  Can colleges, universities or non-profits be the federal prime contract holder?
A.  The offering entity must have or obtain a D&B number and must be able to demonstrate all item requirements under the RFP Offeror Capability section. There are no further restrictions on participation. 

Q.  Do I need to be pre-approved and how do I demonstrate my ability to perform?
A.  There is no requirement for pre-approval to make an offer on the RFP. Proposal Part 2 and the required information on exhibit 6 will demonstrate capability and are required RFP submission elements.

Q.  Can you please explain key quality requirements associated with this solicitation?
A.  The Emergency Acquisition Master Solicitation for Commodity Procurement (incorporated by reference into the RFP) contains pertinent quality requirements. Please see clause “4A52.246-1(a) Contract Quality Requirements.” 

Q.  Please explain the goal of the government regarding execution of these contracts?
A.  The prime contractor receiving an award is responsible for all aspects of contract performance. The aspects of performance include but are not limited to sourcing product for inclusion in boxes, conducting all aspects of preparing the boxes, sourcing and communicating with non-profits and transportation and final delivery of boxes to the non-profit on a mutually agreeable, recurring schedule.

Q.  Are there small business or priority set-asides for specifics types of businesses and producers?
A.  There are no small business or specialty set-asides. Offerors should carefully review the technical proposal factors and subfactors in the RFP and address all elements required, including engagement of small farms and impact to local and regional agriculture.

Q.  Who can receive food under this program?
A.  Recipients identified as food banks, food pantries, churches, schools, community groups and other non-profit and governmental organizations may receive deliveries under this program. 

Q.  Can you please explain what “base period” and “option periods” mean and how they work?
A.  The base period is the initial performance period under the contract (e.g. May 15-June 30). The option periods extend the contract’s period of performance (at the unilateral right of the government) in two-month increments (e.g. Option 1: July-August, Option 2: September – October, Option 3: November – December). During the initial proposal submission offerors may offer different prices for the option periods of the contract.

Q.  How frequently should deliveries take place to non-profit entities?
A.  The offeror can propose a delivery schedule that is mutually agreed to by the non-profit they are serving.

Q.  How will my offer be evaluated? Will the lowest priced offerors be awarded first?
A.  The contracting officer will evaluate proposals. Proposals will be evaluated on the four components in descending order of importance: 1) Technical Information, 2) Past Performance, 3) Offeror Capability and 4) Price.

Q.  Please clarify if raw milk and “lunch meat” are acceptable content for the boxes.
A.  The program will only accept “lunch meat” that consists of pre-cooked chicken or pork. Raw milk is not acceptable under the program.

Q. Louisiana was not listed in any region in the list, please clarify.
A. The solicitation will be amended to add Louisiana to the Southwest Region.

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