Office of General Services

New York State Office of General Services - Unprocessed Fruit and Vegetable Pilot Project

Unprocessed Fruit and Vegetable Pilot Project

The goal of this pilot is to develop additional opportunities for schools to purchase unprocessed (dried, frozen, washed, chopped, peeled and diced) fruits and vegetables with USDA Foods entitlement funding.

What is the Pilot Project? 

An opportunity for New York State schools and food producers!

The USDA Unprocessed Fruit and Vegetable Pilot Project encourages the use fresh fruits and vegetables in the National School Lunch Program by allowing locally-grown foods to be purchased with USDA funds annually allocated to schools. New York is one of eight states selected to participate in the Pilot Project, which was written into the 2015 Farm Bill. Schools may use pre-existing commercial distribution channels with farmers, growers, produce wholesalers and distributors.

School Participation 

Why participate?

Are you interested in putting more local, fresh and nutritious food on your school meal plate? Here’s why your school should participate:

New York schools put aside $3.5 million of USDA entitlement funding for use in the pilot project during the 2016-17 school year. Find out what New York State schools are already participating.

How to participate

  1. To begin, contact the OGS Food Distribution unit to set aside a portion of your USDA entitlement funds into the pilot project.

  2. Sign the pilot program Guidance Memo and return to: ogsdonatedfoods@ogs.ny.gov

  3. Conduct competitive solicitation.

  4. Once you have obtained the successful bidder, check the USDA Approved Vendor Listing. Confirm that your successful bidder is on the approved vendor list.

  5. Schedule delivery of your Pilot produce. When delivery is made to your school, you will obtain a copy of the invoice from the driver. This is your copy for reconciliation purposes and should not be sent to your business office for processing or payment. Vendors must be notified of any changes to invoices. Final vendor invoices submitted to USDA and your copy of the invoice must match. Failure to coordinate invoice changes with the vendor may impact your entitlement.

  6. Schools will receive an email from their vendor within 24 hours confirming their delivery including any discrepancies at time of delivery. This information will be in the form of a spreadsheet/vendor template. Schools must verify their invoices by responding to the vendor by email within 24 hours. Should there be discrepancies at this point, schools will need respond to the vendor by email within 24 hours with any issues. The vendor will then correct any discrepancies and return a corrected invoice spreadsheet to the school by email. Vendors will then submit this confirmed invoice data to USDA AMS for payment. USDA AMS will make payment and email all parties including schools when payment is made to the vendor.

  7. Reconcile Invoices and Monitor the balance of your Pilot entitlement. You should set up a spreadsheet containing, at a minimum, the following data: Vendor name; building name delivered to; invoice number; delivery date; produce received; and total cost. Utilize this spreadsheet to reconcile Pilot invoices against USDA data received monthly. Do not spend more than your Pilot set aside. Failure to properly monitor your pilot funds may put your other USDA food orders at risk and/or your ability to participate in the pilot program over upcoming school years.

Vendor Participation 

Why participate?

How to participate

  1. Determine your eligibility: See Vendor Requirements

  2. Apply: Complete the Vendor Application Forms

  3. Register with the Web-Based Supply Chain Management (WBSCM) system: Complete the WBSCM Vendor Registration Form and return to FVPilotProject@ams.usda.gov.

    All eligible vendors must also be registered in the System for Award Management, which requires a DUNS number. Assistance for this process is available through the Procurement Technical Assistance Centers. Reach the SAM Help Desk at 1-866-606-8220.

  4. Market to Schools: Find participating schools and create contacts. Inform schools about the commodities you offer. Contact OGS for more information.

  5. Answer bid solicitations.

  6. Get Paid: After delivering your unprocessed product, complete the Vendor/SDA Reporting Template and send it to the school to check and sign that the information is correct. The school will return the signed template back to you. Next, log in to WBSCM and follow the Submitting Invoice Directions to submit the signed Vendor/SDA Reporting Template and supporting documents in order to receive payment of delivered unprocessed fruits and vegetables.

    Note: Vendors with an eligible status may be subject to an audit by USDA, AMS personnel to confirm all requirements are in place. Please be aware when your GAP/GHP certificate expires as this will cause payment problems.

For questions regarding requirements, invoicing, or general information please contact Ms. Camillia Freeland-Taylor @ 202-720-3052, or Camillia.Freeland-Taylor@ams.usda.gov.

Farm to School in New York 

The New York State Farm to School Program was created to connect schools with local farms and food producers to strengthen local agriculture, improve student health, and promote regional food systems awareness. The Farm to School Program is housed in the New York State Department of Agriculture &Markets at https://www.agriculture.ny.gov/f2s/index.html



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