This section establishes basic performance standards which must be followed by distributing agencies responsible for intrastate distribution of donated commodities and products. The seven standards address the level of service that shall be provided to recipient agencies. The basic standards include the following:
(a)Program management and evaluation. Distributing agencies shall conduct reviews in accordance with § 250.19. Distributing agencies shall also assess the adequacy of the service provided to recipient agencies.
(b)Information dissemination. Distributing agencies shall provide recipient agencies with all information needed for informed participation in the program. Distributing agencies shall provide program information relative to:
(1) Current program regulations,
(2) Summaries of commodity specifications upon request (§ 250.13(j)) and commodity fact sheets,
(3) Results of any test evaluations and surveys,
(4) Recipes, and
(5) Written procedures for ordering commodities, handling commodities which are stale, spoiled, out-of-condition or not in compliance with specifications (including procedures for replacement by the Department under § 250.13(g)), submitting complaints and other written policy which affects program operations.
(c)Fiscal responsibility. Distributing agencies shall maintain a financial management system which ensures fiscal integrity and accountability for all funds and includes a recordkeeping system which conforms to generally accepted accounting practices. Distributing agencies shall submit information relative to distribution charges to FNS in accordance with § 250.15(a).
(d)Ordering and allocation. Distributing agencies shall ensure that donated food is provided on an equitable basis and, to the extent practicable, in the types and forms most usable by recipient agencies. Distributing agencies shall be responsible for:
(1) Obtaining and utilizing commodity acceptability information in accordance with § 250.13(k);
(8) Providing recipient agencies with ordering options and commodity values, and considering the specific needs and capabilities of such agencies in ordering donated foods;
(9) Offering school food authorities participating in NSLP, or as commodity schools, the commodity offer value of donated food assistance, at a minimum, and determining an adjusted assistance level in consultation with school food authorities, as appropriate, in accordance with § 250.58; and
(10) Ensuring that all school food authorities in NSLP are aware of the full list of available donated foods, have the opportunity to provide input at least annually in determining the donated foods from the full list that they may select for their food service, and receive all such selected donated foods that may be cost-effectively distributed to them.
(e)Warehousing and distribution. Distributing agencies shall use a warehousing and distribution system that is efficient, cost effective and responsive to needs of recipient agencies in accordance with § 250.14(a). In addition, distributing agencies shall:
(1) Work with recipient agencies capable of receiving direct shipments to order donated food directly into their warehouses;
(2) Solicit information and recommendations regarding the individual delivery needs of recipient agencies;
(3) Maintain distribution schedules which are equitable and reliable, recognize hours of operation, holidays and vacations and other special needs of recipient agencies;
(f)Disposition of damaged or out-of-condition commodities. Distributing agencies shall establish a system for handling recipient agency complaints, notifying the Department of any commodity losses in accordance with § 250.13(f) and arranging for the replacement of lost commodities in accordance with § 250.13(g).
(g)Processing. Distributing agencies shall administer an acceptable processing program in accordance with § 250.30. In addition, distributing agencies shall inform recipient agencies annually of processing options available to them in facilitating participation in State or National processing contracts. Prior to entering into a processing contract, distributing agencies shall test end products. The end product testing may be delegated to the purchasing recipient agency provided that test results are reviewed by the distributing agency. Distributing agencies shall monitor the acceptability of processed end products as required in § 250.30(b)(1).