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AMS calls for 2 million TEFAP produce boxes for first half of 2022

The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has issued a solicitation for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) mixed fresh produce boxes under the Build Back Better Initiative.

According to the solicitation document, this round runs from Jan. 1, 2022 to June 30, 2022, and USDA calls for providing 2,148,771 boxes.

Bids are due Dec. 7th, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. Central Time and must be submitted through the Web-Based Supply Chain Management System (WBSCM). Acceptances will be announced by Dec. 21

Questions regarding this procurement should be directed to David Cottrell, David.cottrell@usda.gov, 202-260-9183.

Details of the solicitation can be found here.

No budget for the round was released, and inquiries to USDA have not yet been answered.

The fourth quarter 2021 round of TEFAP produce boxes saw $3.4 million contracted for 436,229 boxes to be delivered from October 1 to December 31, 2021. The price range of the boxes goes from $5.83 to $36.25, with an average of $7.80.

If this 2022 round has the same average price, USDA will pay $16.7 million.

According to the USDA documents, the produce boxes must contain, at a minimum, at least four different items for a total of 10-12 pounds of total produce.

It is preferred that at least two items are locally grown, if available.

It must contain both fruits and vegetables, including at least 3 pounds of vegetables; no more than 3 pounds of root vegetables such as potatoes, yams, carrots, onions, etc.; and at least 3 pounds of fruit.

USDA’s definition of locally grown: “Locally and Regionally Produced Food means food that is raised, produced, aggregated, stored, processed, and distributed in the locality or region where the final product is marketed to consumers, so that the total distance that the product travels between the farm or ranch where the product originates and the point of sale to the end consumer is at most 400 miles, or both the final market and the origin of the product are within the same State, territory, or tribal land.”

Greg Johnson is Director of Media Development for Blue Book Services