WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) released its solicitation for proposals for the “Buy Fresh” Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program (CFAP) to purchase and distribute $100 million a month of fresh fruit and vegetables for approximately six months. USDA will award contracts for the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables, the assembly of commodity boxes, and delivery to identified food banks, food pantries, churches, schools, community groups, and other non-profit and governmental organizations that can receive and distribute food items.
- The solicitation and supporting documents can be found at bottom of page here.
- Request for Proposals (RFP) will be due on May 1, 2020.
- AMS will hold a conference call next week (details forthcoming) to field additional questions from the RFP. Any questions should be submitted in the meantime to USDAFoodBoxDistributionProgram@usda.gov
- A recording of a Untied Fresh/ARS information webinar conducted on April 23rd can be found here. Additional details and updates can be found on the AMS-CFAP landing page.
- Who is eligible to apply?
Any company that can procure, assemble, and distribute the produce boxes to non-profit entities are invited to apply.
- What types of fruits and vegetables are eligible and how much should be in the box?
Any domestic fresh fruit or vegetable is allowable, including fresh-cut and value-added. For the purpose of this program, only fresh commodities are eligible.
- Will USDA provide a list of nonprofits and food banks eligible?
Companies will be required to identify the nonprofits for delivery as part of their proposal. USDA will provide a list of food banks that participate in other federal food distribution programs, but this is not an all-inclusive list and applicants must conduct the outreach on their own.
On April 17, 2020 USDA announced its intent to purchase and distribute $3 billion worth of agricultural products including fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products and milk, and meat in an effort to meet growing food insecurity and address the economic fallout on the fresh produce supply chain as a result of school, restaurant, and foodservice closures related to COVID-19.
About United Fresh Produce Association
Founded in 1904, the United Fresh Produce Association brings together companies across every segment of the fresh produce supply chain, including growers, shippers, fresh cut processors, wholesalers, distributors, retailers, foodservice operators, industry suppliers and allied associations. We empower industry leaders to shape sound government policy. We deliver the resources and expertise companies need to succeed in managing complex business and technical issues. We provide the training and development individuals need to advance their careers in produce. Through these endeavors, we unite our industry with a common purpose – to build long-term value for our members and grow produce consumption. For more information, visit www.unitedfresh.org or call 202-303-3400.