7 CFR 250.13 - Distribution and control of donated foods.

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§ 250.13 Efficient and cost-effective distribution of donated foods.

(a) Direct shipments. The distributing agency must ensure that the distribution of donated foods is conducted in the most efficient and cost-effective manner, and, to the extent practical, in accordance with the specific needs and preferences of recipient agencies. In meeting this requirement, the distributing agency must, to the extent practical, provide for:

(1) Shipments of donated foods directly from USDA vendors to recipient agencies, including two or more recipient agencies acting as a collective unit (such as a school co-op), or to the commercial storage facilities of such agencies;

(2) Shipments of donated foods directly from USDA vendors to processors for processing of donated foods and sale of end products to recipient agencies, in accordance with subpart C of this part; and

(3) The use of split shipments, as defined in § 250.2, in arranging for delivery of donated foods to recipient agencies that cannot accept a full truckload.

(b) Distributing agency storage and distribution charge.

(1) If a distributing agency determines that direct shipments of donated foods, as described in paragraph (a) of this section, are impractical, it must provide for the storage of donated foods at the distributing agency level, and subsequent distribution to recipient agencies, in the most efficient and cost-effective manner possible. The distributing agency must use a commercial storage facility, in accordance with § 250.12(f), if the use of such system is determined to be more efficient and cost-effective than other available methods.

(2) The distributing agency must utilize State Administrative Expense (SAE) funds in child nutrition programs, as available, to meet the costs of storing and distributing donated foods for school food authorities or other recipient agencies in child nutrition programs, and administrative costs related to such activities, in accordance with 7 CFR part 235. If SAE funds, or any other Federal or State funds received for such purpose, are insufficient to fully meet the distributing agency's costs of storing and distributing donated foods, and related administrative costs (e.g., salaries of employees engaged in such activities), the distributing agency may require school food authorities or other recipient agencies in child nutrition programs to pay a distribution charge, as defined in § 250.2, to help meet such costs. The distribution charge may cover only allowable costs, in accordance with 2 CFR part 200, subpart E, and USDA implementing regulations at 2 CFR part 400. The distributing agency must maintain a record of costs incurred in storing and distributing donated foods and related administrative costs, and the source of funds used to pay such costs.

(c) FNS approval of amount of State distributing agency distribution charge to school food authorities and other recipient agencies in child nutrition programs. In determining the amount of a new distribution charge, or in increasing the amount (except for normal inflationary adjustments) or reducing the level of service provided once a distribution charge is established, the distributing agency must request FNS approval prior to implementation. Such requirement also applies to the distribution charge imposed by a commercial storage facility under contract with the distributing agency. The request for approval must be submitted to FNS at least 90 days in advance of its projected implementation, and must include justification of the newly established amount, or any increased charge or reduction in the level of service provided under an established distribution charge, and the specific costs covered under the distribution charge (e.g., storage, delivery, or administrative costs).

(d) FNS review authority. FNS may reject the distributing agency's proposed new, or changes to an existing, distribution charge for school food authorities and other recipient agencies in child nutrition programs if FNS determines that the charge would not provide for distribution of donated foods in the most efficient and cost-effective manner, or may otherwise impact recipient agencies negatively. In such case, the distributing agency would be required to adjust the proposed amount or the level of service provided in its distribution charge, or consider other distribution options. FNS may also require the distributing agency to submit documentation to justify the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of its storage and distribution system at other times, and may require the distributing agency to re-evaluate such system in order to ensure compliance with the requirements in this part.

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