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Procuring food for the school meals programs
 

Procuring food for the school meals programs

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Presentation given by Loren LaCorte and Jaclyn Kupcha of the USDA Farm to School Team - used during the workshop titled "Procuring Food for the School Meals Programs 101"

Presentation given by Loren LaCorte and Jaclyn Kupcha of the USDA Farm to School Team - used during the workshop titled "Procuring Food for the School Meals Programs 101"

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    Procuring food for the school meals programs Procuring food for the school meals programs Presentation Transcript

    • Jaclyn Kupcha, USDA, Food and Nutrition Service Loren LaCorte, USDA, Food and Nutrition Service May 19, 2010
    •  Overview of the School Meals Programs  How purchases are made in the programs  Mechanisms for schools to use when purchasing local, farm fresh products  Impact of the 2008 Farm Bill on the purchase of local farm products  How to connect schools with farmers
    • FNS Headquarters FNS Regional Offices State Agencies School Food Authorities Schools
    • Throughout the existence of the School Nutrition Programs, USDA has focused on helping State agencies (SAs) and School Food Authorities (SFAs) find effective ways of providing more nutritious meals to America’s school children. http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd
    •  Public or nonprofit private schools and public or nonprofit private residential child care institutions  SFAs have written agreements with their State Agency  SFAs must operate using a nonprofit school food service account  SFAs typically conduct the purchasing for school meals programs
    • NSLP SBP Avg Daily Participation 31.3 mill 11.1 mill Avg Participating 101,577 87,814 Schools
    •  Most important principle of a sound procurement is that it is competitive  Free and open competition means that all suppliers are on a level playing field and have the same opportunity to compete  Procurement procedures may never unduly restrict or eliminate competition
    •  Cost of products and services!
    •  Quality of products and services
    •  Program Regulations for Procurement:  NSLP: 7 CFR 210.21  SBP: 7 CFR 220.16  Uniform Administrative Requirements for Procurement:  State/local governments: 7 CFR 3016.36  Non-profits: 7 CFR 3019.44
    •  Ensure Federal funds, when used to purchase products or services, result in the best and most responsive product at the lowest possible price  Provides the framework by which SFAs purchase goods or services with Federal funds in the School Meals Programs
    •  Congress wants to achieve two goals:  Program benefits are widely available to eligible schools and children  Benefits are used effectively and efficiently, without waste or abuse
    •  An SFA must evaluate:  Food Service Operations  Food Service Needs
    •  SFAs must evaluate their schools’ current food service operations to determine their needs  Self-Op/Central Kitchen/FSMC  Storage capacity  Processing abilities  Staff resources  Food safety practices  Prior year menus  Current food inventory
    •  SFAs must then evaluate their school’s current food service needs  Necessary volume  Students’ preferences  Menu requirements  Required transportation and delivery needs
    •  Informal procurement  Small Purchase Threshold  Formal procurement  Competitive Sealed Bidding  Competitive Negotiation
    •  Federal regulations set forth that a procurement contract under $100,000 in value may be awarded using informal methods  States or localities may set a lower small purchase threshold, thereby imposing more formal procedures
    •  Informal procurements must maximize full and open competition  SFAs should put specs in writing before contacting any potential offerors  Recommend at least three sources be contacted who are eligible, able, and willing to provide product or service
    •  Used when the value of purchase exceeds applicable Federal, State, or local threshold for small purchases  More rigorous and prescriptive:  Competitive Sealed Bidding  Competitive Negotiation
    •  Detailed specs must be developed  Technical and cost factors  Bids/Solicitations must be publicly solicited  Measure and document why one company’s response to a particular criterion is better than another
    •  SFAs may not intentionally split purchases to fall below the small purchase threshold and avoid formal procurement methods
    •  Request local, farm products through quality indicators  Degree of ripeness or maturity  Age  Condition upon receipt of product  Preservation method  Temperature  Other quality standards
    •  Size  Quantity  Cleanliness  Packaging  Established delivery day
    •  Direct from Farmer  Farmer Cooperative  Farmers’ Market  Wholesaler  SFA Buying Cooperative
    •  Potential benefits of purchasing from local farmers:  Shortening the supply chain  Cutting out the middle man  Reducing fuel costs  Forming relationships for growing specifications
    •  Farmer cooperatives may develop a group distribution strategy  Purchasing from a farmer co-op may help food service directors reduce time spent on administrative tasks
    •  Informal Procurement Process  Farmers are contacted and one is determined to have lowest price  Farmer brings the schools’ order to the farmers’ market in addition to their product  Food service staff have opportunity to inspect product quality and see other available products for future menu planning
    •  Support sales and marketing of local farm products  Provide standard pack sizes and specifications  Transportation  Price  Cutting out the distributor
    •  Neighboring school districts develop a group purchasing strategy  Buying co-ops often increase purchasing power and volume requests  Co-ops must still follow procurement regulations when purchasing for the group
    •  U.S. Agriculture Extension System  Find agricultural producers in the community http://www.csrees.usda.gov/Extension/index.html  State Dept of Agriculture or Education  Find local farms and farmers  Local Universities  National Farm to School Network  Find local farms and farmers http://www.farmtoschool.org/index.php
    •  Familiarize yourself with potential customer  Contact local extension office  Call your State’s Department of Education or Department of Agriculture  Contact schools within your deliverable area  Contact the National Farm to School Network
    •  Consider pooling resources with other farmers to increase delivery and efficiency  Be cognizant of different packing specifications that schools are used to  Be aware of size requirements for schools  Be aware of “language” barrier  Crates /Bushels/Baskets/Pecks
    •  The 2008 Farm Bill amended the National School Lunch Act to allow institutions receiving funds through the Child Nutrition Programs to apply a geographic preference when procuring unprocessed locally grown or locally raised agricultural products
    •  Only those agricultural products that retain their inherent character  Chopping, cutting, slicing, dicing, shucking, peeling  Cooling, refrigerating, freezing  Washing  Packaging, bagging
    •  Preparation that may be necessary to present a product to a school in a useable form  Pasteurized milk  Butchered livestock and poultry
    •  Discretion to define the local area for any geographic preference is left to the institution responsible for procurement  “Local” must not be defined in a way that unnecessarily limits competition
    •  Proposed rule: “Geographic Preference Option for Procurement of Unprocessed Agricultural Products in Child Nutrition Programs”  Published in Federal Register on April 19, 2010  Comments may be submitted to FNS by June 18, 2010 http://www.fns.usda.gov/cga/Federal-Register/2010/04-19-10_CN.pdf
    • Develop solicitation and incorporate geo preference points into scoring criteria Determine most responsive and Publicly announce responsible bidder at the IFB/RFP lowest price Producers of locally- Evaluate bidders grown unprocessed using established products receive extra criteria points in scoring
    • Develop your specs in writing Determine most Identify sources responsive and eligible, able, and responsible bidder at willing to provide lowest price products Evaluate bidders’ Contact at least three response to your sources specs
    •  Tool to help food service professionals think through important decisions involved in food purchasing  What quantity of raw product will provide the amount of ready-to-cook food?  How many servings will you get from a specific quantity of food?  Factors affecting yields
    •  Provides tips for planning, purchasing, preparing, and promoting fruits and vegetables  Tricks of the Trade  Food safety  Operating a salad bar  Meal Appeal  Ideas for presenting fruits and veggies  Quality Food for Quality Meals  Technical information on how to purchase high quality fruits and vegetables
    •  Quality Food for Quality Meals: Buying Fruits and Vegetables  Develop quality standards  Product descriptions  Proper storage  Fresh-cut  Product sheets for fruits and vegetables
    •  Balance: Provide a mix of flavors, textures, colors  Variety: Offer cooked vs. raw; familiar and new  Choices: Regional and cultural preferences  Contrast: Texture, flavor, methods of preparation  Color: Add natural color using fruits and vegetables  Eye Appeal: Use produce as garnishes http://teamnutrition.usda.gov/Resources
    •  Offer taste-testing of new farm products  Introduce new foods in the classroom (FFVP)  Sample portions on the classroom line  Have a harvest festival and showcase one local product each month
    •  At the beginning of the school year, involve teachers in the planning process for increasing fruit and vegetable consumption
    •  To encourage healthy eating and help students learn about agriculture and farms  FSA Kids Fun activities on farming and agriculture http://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/kidsapp  MyPyramid for Kids Lesson plans and interactive games with nutrition messages http://teamnutrition.usda.gov/kids-pyramid.html  Agriculture in the Classroom Ag facts, State farming facts, Farm & Fun Food http://www.agclassroom.org/kids/index.htm
    •  Utilize a school garden and incorporate into lessons  English  Mathematics  Science  Art
    •  New website: www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/F2S  Resources  USDA Grants  Policy  Team Updates  Site visits  Webinars
    • FarmtoSchool@fns.usda.gov