P. O. BOX 2120
May 2, 1997


TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Richard T. La Pointe
Superintendent of Public Instruction
SUBJECT: Fresh Produce Purchases for the School Nutrition Programs

  The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of
  Defense have entered into an agreement which permits school
  food authorities to purchase fresh produce through the
  Department of Defense.  This project began in 1994-95 in eight
  states and expanded to 40 states in 1995-96.  A school food
  authority may purchase produce from the Department of Defense
  for a dollar amount equal to, or less than, the total of the
  federal Section 4 and Section 11 funds it receives for school
  lunches.  Only federal funds may be used for these purchases.

  Lieutenant Commander Calvin R. Scheidt, Officer in Charge of
  the Defense Subsistence Office in Gloucester described this
  opportunity at the recent Virginia School Food Service
  Association meeting.  It was well received with interest
  expressed by Virginia school division personnel that the
  Department of Defense resources be made available this Spring. 

  The produce purchasing agreement has resulted in an increase
  in the variety and quality of produce available to schools. In
  addition, school food authorities have reported a savings of
  23 to 30 percent in produce purchases.  This opportunity
  benefits schools by maximizing the use of funds, improving
  produce quality, and providing a way to serve students more
  fresh fruit and vegetables.  Students benefit with the
  increased choices available and the nutrient contribution to
  their diets.

  The Department of Defense's commitment is to provide the best
  quality produce at the best price with customer satisfaction
  as the first priority.  The office provides an automated
  ordering system, frequent deliveries, and daily
  communications.  Both commercial produce vendors and defense
  department delivery systems are used.  All produce must meet
  the high standards of the Department of Defense.  

  Virginia school food authorities may participate effective
  May, 1997.  To participate a school food authority, should
  write to Commander Scheidt, Supply Corps, U.S. Navy, Officer-in
  Charge/Chief, Defense Subsistence Office, Tidewater, 7718
  Crab Thickett Road, Gloucester, VA 23061-9908 and request
  participation.  Telephone: 804-694-5056; Fax: 804-693-7801. 
  Please copy Dr. Jane Logan, Director School Nutrition
  Programs, Department of Education  on the correspondence.  

  Commander Scheidt's staff will provide training on the system
  and assist your staff in the ordering and payment processes
  for the Department of Defense and the school division. 
  Billing and payments are managed in the same manner as other