This notice announces the Food and Nutrition Service's (FNS) intent to continue a demonstration project to test program changes designed to improve the State processing of donated poultry by allowing the substitution of donated poultry supplied by the Department of Agriculture (the Department) with commercial poultry.
The Department is currently operating a demonstration project that allows selected poultry processors to substitute commercial poultry for donated poultry in the State processing of donated poultry. Only bulk pack poultry and poultry parts are eligible for substitution under the current demonstration project. Notice of the project, which has operated from February 1, 1996 through June 30, 1997, was first published in the Federal Register at 61 FR 5373 on February 12, 1996. The project was then expanded and extended through June 30, 1999 (62 FR 25885). Under the demonstration project, FNS invoked its authority under 7 CFR 250.30(t) to waive the current prohibition at 7 CFR 250.30(f)(1)(i) against the substitution of poultry items and to establish the criteria under which substitution will be permitted.
The Department will continue to operate the demonstration project from July 1, 1999 through June 30, 2000. The Department will use the results of the demonstration project to further examine whether allowing the substitution will result in increased processor participation and provide a greater variety of processed end products to recipient agencies in a more timely manner at lower costs. The Department believes that the demonstration is providing additional benefits to the program recipients currently. However, the Food Distribution Division has undertaken a complete review of the current program through Business Process Reengineering (BPR). Recommendations for program change will be forthcoming and the issues regarding substitution of all donated foods will be a priority topic of discussion.