DLA Troop Support Subsistence is the worldwide provider of choice for fresh fruits and vegetables to military services and non-DoD customers. The USDA, Food and Nutrition Service and the DLA Troop Support, Subsistence Directorate, entered into a partnership by which DLA Troop Support would buy and distribute fresh produce to schools using their commodity entitlement funds set aside by the USDA. DLA Troop Support uses its large-scale buying power to help meet the demand for consistent, weekly deliveries of a wide variety of fresh produce to school cafeterias, central kitchens, or state distribution centers.
The DoD pilot program started in 1993 with 8 test states (South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, New Hampshire, Florida, Texas, Maryland, and South Carolina), using $3.2 million of Group A entitlement money. The test year was successful, and it was apparent that growth in the program was limited by the amount of entitlement money set aside by the USDA and the states. A $20 million cap was established and more states signed on for the next school year, including Guam, Alaska, and Hawaii. The schools could order any authorized fruit or vegetable from a list of about 150 items, except non-U.S. grown produce, such as bananas. By the end of the second year, the USDA suggested that states could use Section 4&11 money, which is federal reimbursable money based on the number of meals served during the school year. Bananas could now be bought with the Section 4&11 money.
By the 1997/1998 school year, the program had grown to 38 states, some using the entitlement money, some using the 4&11money, and some using a combination of both funds. The $20 million cap was spent in full, and states ordered over $9.5 million using their Section 4&11 funds. The next year, USDA raised the entitlement cap to $25 million for the 1998/1999 school year and more states joined the program.
The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 contains language that sets aside $50M a year to continue to support schools in all participating states, as well as Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam, and the District of Columbia.
How It Works
DLA Troop Support, located in Philadelphia, PA, uses its diverse network of produce suppliers, mostly small business to distribute produce items to schools at the place and timeSection 4&11 bills are sent directly to the state, county, or school district office, with instructions to send payment to the Defense Finance and Accounting Office (DFAS), Columbus, OH they designate.
DLA Troop Support is in the process of awarding long term contracts to full-line providers responsible for all military bases and school customers within their zones. The contractor will be responsible for the procurement, storage, and distribution, using commercial industry practices. Delivery times are established in conjunction with the customers.
DLA Troop Support pays all vendors for the delivery of the produce to the final destination. Federal entitlement bills are sent to and paid by HQ USDA, Food and Nutrition Service, Alexandria, VA.
Section 4 & 11 bills are sent directly to the state, county, or school district office, with instructions to send payment to the Defense Finance and Accounting Office (DFAS), Columbus, OH.
Schools' Expectations of DoD Fresh Program:
- Improve quality of fresh fruits and vegetables for school lunches.
- Receive weekly deliveries of only the amounts ordered.
- Door-to-Door delivery direct to warehouse, kitchen, or schools.
- Reduce cost of acquiring produce for schools - one-stop shopping.
- Competitive bidding of produce orders with all interested suppliers.
- Up-to-date information on produce availability via DSO/PBO Newsflash.
DLA Troop Support Expectations of Schools:
- Provide the School Holiday schedule to plan shipments accordingly.
- Understand the business, sometimes the local grocer will be cheaper.
- Store your fresh produce properly.
- Full cases are cheaper than 1/2 cases, but 1/2 cases are available.
- Communicate with the Customer rep or vendor immediately, and if problems are not resolved, call DLA Troop Support.
Benefits of DoD Fresh Produce Program:
- DoD Leveraged Buying Power.
- Increased delivery frequency.
- Increased choice, product variety, and product freshness.
- Provides an opportunity for one-stop shopping.
- DLA Troop Support handles vendor payments and reconciliation.
- Customer service, Electronic On-line ordering system.
Have You Heard About FFAVORS Web?
Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Order/Receipt System on the web is the new ordering system which will replace TAP-IT Online. FFAVORS Web will provide the actual product cost/final delivered price at the time of order. The price you see on the catalog is what you will be billed. FFAVORS Web also provides access to your funds balance and the total cost of the order being placed. Another enhancement is the ability of the school to place a receipt for every delivery to ensure that the vendor invoice and billing are correct. User IDs and passwords will be sent to every authorized ordering person from DLA Troop Support.
DLA Troop Support wants you to have the best quality and freshest produce available. In the event of a delivery problem, shipping error, shortage, overage, wrong item, crushed product, or spoilage, call or email the Customer rep to report the discrepancy and return the case back on the delivery truck. Be sure to annotate the change on the FFAVORS Web receipt screen.
USDA and DLA Troop Support remain partners in providing the highest quality produce to schools in the program. We will update our progress as we roll to full implementation during 2008.Coloring Book