The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) Food and Nutrition Division (FND) proposes to administer $22,311,051 through a non-competitive cooperative agreement for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) Local Food for Schools Cooperative Agreement Program (LFS).
The purpose of the award is to increase purchases of food produced in Texas and strengthen the supply chain from producers to Texas schools operating the National School Lunch (NSLP) and School Breakfast Programs (SBP).
TDA will create a program to foster in-state, long-term relationships and build sustainable market opportunities for Texas producers, with an emphasis on supporting socially disadvantaged producers and small businesses to increase the amount of products distributed to Texas schools. The goal is to support NSLP and SBP schools facing supply chain challenges while strengthening the Texas local and regional food system to build new connections with producers that will benefit from the consistency and reliability of the school food market.
TDA will administer LFS funds through a competitive state procurement allowing wholesalers, distributors, and other eligible entities to apply for a portion of the funds. Awarded vendors will be responsible for identifying socially disadvantaged producers and small businesses, picking up or receiving product from producers, receiving orders from TDA, and storing and delivering food to NSLP and SBP contracting entities, including public school districts, charter schools, private schools, and residential childcare institutions. Program staff will engage with vendors to foster sustainable new markets for purchasing state products, especially from socially disadvantaged producers and small businesses.