WHAT: USDA Webinar for farmers and distributors interested in selling to schools as part of the Pilot Project for the Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits & Vegetables
WHEN: Thursday, August 13th at 11 a.m.
WHERE: Register here
California was one of eight states selected to participate in USDA’s Pilot Project for the Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables. This pilot program allows schools to use their entitlement dollars to purchase fruits and vegetables directly from farmers and can be a great way for farmers to sell directly to school markets. (See our earlier post here)
For farmers and distributors interested in selling to schools as part of the pilot project, tune into USDA’s upcoming webinar this Thursday, August 13th at 11 a.m. This webinar, hosted by USDA, will review the eligibility requirements and application submission process. The USDA will also cover how the pilot can leverage existing relationships between farmers and schools and encourage formation of new partnerships. As Californians become more aware of the benefits and importance of locally sourced produce, parents and students are looking to school nutrition programs to incorporate a high variety of local fruits and vegetables in their school food service operations. We highly encourage you to join this Webinar and find out more about how you can take part in this wonderful opportunity! Registration here.
The goal of the pilot is to develop additional opportunities for both farmers and schools, using preexisting commercial distribution channels with growers, produce wholesalers, and distributors, to purchase unprocessed (fresh, fresh-cut, and frozen) fruits and vegetables from local farmers. Currently, 43 school districts are participating in this pilot with a total of $1,062,972 in funding set aside for potential use.