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Commercial Distribution


School Food Authorities (SFAs) receiving USDA Foods through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) may choose a commercial distributor to deliver their USDA Foods. Unlike State contracted delivery, SFAs conduct their own procurement and contract with commercial distributors, and SFAs negotiate storage and delivery fees, delivery times and quantities.
SFAs may opt to have USDA Direct Delivery (Brown Box) products delivered by the State contracted distributor, but all Direct Diversion and Cheese Rebate end products must be delivered by a contracted commercial distributor.

Commercial Distribution Agreement Between DPI and SFA

Read this to understand the requirements of opting for commercial distribution. The 2024-25 Agreement will be posted in the USDA Foods Ordering System in January 2024 SFAs will accept the terms of the Agreement between January and March 2024.

Program Information

School Year 2024-25

Any SFA opting to utilize a commercial distributor for SY 2024-25 to deliver their USDA Foods should begin the procurement process in the fall of 2023, with a goal to award or renew contracts before the Annual Order Survey in mid-February 2024. Any final changes can be made until March 31, 2024. 

School Year 2024-25


Procurement Resources

Since DPI does not pre-approve commercial distributors, all interested SFAs must follow federal, state, and local procurement regulations and contract with a commercial distributor selected by the SFA.  To assist in this process, the DPI has developed a School Food Authority Agreement Template for use in securing a commercial distributor for delivery of USDA Foods for SY 2023-24.  Please complete and keep for your records, but do NOT send to DPI