Pilot Project: Unprocessed Fruits & Vegetables

As part of the 2014 Farm Bill, AMS and the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) are conducting a pilot project in up to eight States to provide more purchasing flexibility and options for unprocessed fruits and vegetables, including minimally processed products such as sliced apples, baby carrots, and shredded lettuce.  The Pilot project allows participating states to (1) use multiple suppliers and products established and qualified by the Secretary and (2) designate a geographic preference, if desired.

The goal of the Pilot Project is to develop additional opportunities for schools to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables with entitlement funding, while using pre-existing commercial distribution channels and school relationships with growers, produce wholesalers, and distributors. The pilot supports the use of locally-grown foods in school meal programs using entitlement funds. The pilot requires 100% domestic product.

How to Become an Eligible Vendor

Companies interested in being placed on the Pilot Project Eligible Vendor List should review the eligibility requirements before contacting AMS Commodity Procurement Staff. Please note that vendor eligibility for participation in this pilot project does not constitute approval to participate in other AMS’ commodity purchase programs (AMS solicitations and contract awards).

All application forms and supporting documentation shall be submitted electronically to scpilotproject@usda.gov.

All eligible vendors shall also be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM), which requires a DUNS number.  You can reach the SAM Help Desk at 1-866-606-8220.

Please fill out the WBSCM Vendor Registration Form (pdf) and submit to wbscmamshelpdesk@usda.gov for access to the invoicing process.

For Technical Assistance: Procurement Technical Assistance Center https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/sba-locations/headquarters-offices/office-general-counsel

Additional Information for New Vendors:

How to Become a Participating School

To learn more about the Pilot Project for Procurement of Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables and how your school or school food authority can get involved, please contact your Participating State Agencies.

Current Participating Vendors

Where to go from here:

Once you have completed your WBSCM Registration Form and registered in the System for Award Management (SAM), you are now a qualified vendor for the Pilot Program, so where do you go from here?

1.      Talk to the Participating State Agencies and get contacts of schools you can work with, provide them with your information and the commodities you offer.  

2.      Create a contract with those schools.

3.      After delivering your unprocessed product, complete the Vendor/SDA Reporting Template (xls) and send it to the school to check and sign that the information is correct.

4.      Log in to WBSCM and follow the Submitting Invoice Directions (pdf) to submit the signed Vendor/SDA Reporting Template and supporting documents in order to receive payment of delivered unprocessed fruits and vegetables.

5.      Stay up to date on all the latest USDA food purchases by signing up for our listserve.

View the 2024-2025 SY Pilot Program Eligible Vendors List (xlsx) - updated 7/12/2024 

View the Vendor Invoice Template Instructions (doc)

Please Note: Vendors with eligible status may be subject to an audit by USDA, AMS personnel to confirm all above requirements are in place.  Also be aware when your GAP/GHP certificate expires as this will cause payment problems. For questions regarding other requirements, invoicing, or general information please contact Susan Purcell at 816-926-2546.

Current Participating Schools

Participating States & SFAs


Additional Resources

Contact Information

Pilot Project Participating State Agencies

To receive email updates from AMS, subscribe to AMS CP News and select “Unprocessed FV Pilot Project.”

For information about State and School Food Authority participation in the pilot project, visit the FNS website.