CDE Food Distribution Program: Processing USDA Foods and Completing Processor Surveys


Hello and thank you for joining our Food Distribution
Program (FDP) Webinar on Processing U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foods and Completing
Processing Surveys, the second in a series of five FDP Webinars planned for this current
school year (SY). My name is Amy Bell, Child Nutrition Consultant with the California Department
of Education (CDE) FDP, and I will be joined today by Felisha Zuniga, South State Cooperative
(Co-op) Coordinator, also with the FDP. The purpose of this Webinar is to give our
agencies a better understanding of the processing component of the USDA Foods program. We would
like to emphasize that this Webinar is intended for our State Co-op members and Allocation
Agencies; however, it can provide some clarity for any participant of the FDP.
During this Webinar we will define what USDA Foods processing is and then go into the fine
details on how agencies can calculate the correct amount of bulk USDA Foods to send
to processors. After we explain the process, Felisha will provide a live demonstration
on how to complete and submit the processor survey in the CDE’s Child Nutrition Information
and Payment System (CNIPS). What is processing? Processing is the utilization
of bulk USDA Foods as an ingredient by approved commercial food processors in the production
of finished end products. In simple terms, it is taking a bulk USDA Food item and creating
a new, ready to consume food item. An example would be using ground beef to make meatballs
or taco filling. We will continue to clarify and provide more examples as we go.
The USDA makes two types of foods available for the FDP, brown box items and bulk items.
Brown box refers to food products that are delivered ready for consumption, items such
as chicken fajita meat, canned fruit, and tortillas. USDA offers a large variety of
brown box items that schools can order, but for the purposes of this Webinar we will be
discussing their bulk items. The USDA offers a variety of bulk items that
can be ordered and sent to an approved processor for further processing. These include items
such as raw whole chicken, coarse ground beef, whole turkey, frozen fruit, and large blocks
of cheese. A school district can order bulk chicken, send to an approved processor of
their choosing, and have that item turned into an item such as orange chicken or chicken
tenders. Another example is the purchase of bulk apples, which can be sent to an approved
processor to create packaged sliced apples. Ordering bulk USDA Foods for processing is
a great way to provide students foods they enjoy and items they can look forward to having
on their menus. For agencies that have limited resources,
such as limited staff or equipment, or cannot cook from scratch, there can be benefits to
ordering bulk USDA Food items for processing and you will want to consider the following
before deciding to do so. These benefits include: Variety of foods; you are able to serve items
that you would not typically be able to serve if your staff had to prepare them on-site.
For instance, ethnic items such as egg rolls, breaded items such as breaded chicken patties,
or baked items such as muffins. Processed items are usually convenient and
offer easy and fast preparation for staff since many items just need to be heated and
served, versus preparing a menu item from scratch. Processed items also require less
skilled labor and equipment since you do not have to prepare the items from scratch, as
again, many processed items just need to be heated and served.
For food consistency; processors ensure that their items are consistent and look and taste the
same every time they are made. Little to no food waste as you receive just
what you will use rather than using a raw product that may create waste. For example,
preparing a chicken entree with bone in chicken. Portion control; you will know exactly how
many portions you are receiving in every case, as most items come individually wrapped.
The first step to processing bulk USDA Foods is to plan your menu to determine which processed
end products you would like to serve. Which, due to the diverse nature of each district,
is something we won’t be covering in this overview. Once you determine the menu items,
it’s time to find approved processors that process those end products. The California’s
Approved Processor Listing shows which processors are approved by the CDE and the types of items
they make. You will need to contact the processors for specifics regarding their products, pricing,
distribution, and delivery to determine which processors fit your needs before you send
any USDA Foods to them. After you have identified who makes each of
the products you would like to use, you must procure their services. Again, this is an
overview we won’t be going into specifics. But keep in mind, whether your procurement
falls above or below the current years formal bid threshold, which is adjusted annually
for inflation, all procurement must be competitive. Please be on the lookout for procurement trainings
provided by the NSD in the near future. In the meantime, I would also like to mention
that the Institute of Child Nutrition (formally known as the National Food Service Management
Institute) has a procurement training resource titled “Procurement in the 21st Century”
which is a resource designed specifically for school food authorities and is available
on their Web site. When choosing to process USDA Foods, there
are a few responsibilities to keep in mind. Always plan menus to meet meal pattern requirements.
You will want to make certain that your menus have all the required components and correct
serving sizes to ensure your meals are reimbursable. Effectively utilize your entitlement by placing
orders based on usage and student taste tests. It is important to send the correct amount
of food to a processor so that you do not waste entitlement by sending too much food
and then not being able to use it. It is also important to consider your students’
preferences when choosing a menu item. If they won’t eat a product, then your inventory
sits at the processor and entitlement is wasted. It is also important to monitor inventory
to ensure that you have enough to meet your menu requirements. To spend entitlement wisely,
it is important to order based on usage and make sure that you are not ordering food to
send to a processor if you have existing inventory. You will need to monitor orders to processors
to assure that the processor is using your pounds and that you are receiving the correct
rebate or discount for USDA Foods from the processor or distributor. The rebate or discount
will depend on which Value Pass Through system (VPT) is used.
The Approved Processor List is posted on the CDE USDA Foods Processing Program Web page.
The list shows which processors are approved to process USDA Foods for California schools,
the processor’s contact information, the USDA Foods accepted by each processor, and a summary
of all the end products made by each processor. We currently have about 75 nationally and
California-only processors approved in California. We want to reiterate that just because a processor
is on the Approved Processor list does not mean that you do not have to go through the
procurement process, but you can bid for processed items through distributors.
There are a few questions you should research to help you decide which USDA Foods to order
and in what quantity. First you will need to determine which USDA
Foods are used to make the finished end product you desire. For example, there are several
types of chicken that can be processed, so you must know the type of chicken your processor
can accept to make a specific end product. Also, some processed end products, like pizza,
use multiple USDA Foods, so you will need to decide if you will send one or more ingredients
to the processor to make your end product. All processors have Summary End Product Data
Schedules (SEPDS) that will provide you with this important information. Processors will
make this document available to you at your request.
Some processors may need to combine many small orders into one production run. Not all processors
have end products ready at all times. Asking the processor if they have a minimum production
run requirement will help determine if the processor will have the items ready when you
need them. You will need to ask the processor how many
servings are in a case. This will help determine how much bulk USDA Foods you need to order.
Many processors have tools available to help you plan menu items and to help you figure
out how much USDA Foods to use. This is important when deciding how much USDA Foods to divert
to your processors. Cost is a factor in choosing menu items. You
will need to ask the processor the cost per serving to determine if you are able to afford
an item. It is also important to know which VPT system
your processor uses since knowing this will help you ensure you receiving the discounted
price or the rebate for USDA Foods. This is a Summary End Product Data Schedule,
or SEPDS. Each processor submits a SEPDS for approval for every product it produces. The
SEPDS contains useful information such as which USDA Foods are used to make a finished
end product, how many pounds of each USDA Foods goes into each case of an end product,
and the number of servings per case. Schools may request this document from any approved
processor. The SEPDS helps you determine the type and amount of USDA Foods to send to the
processor to make a specific end product. The SEPDS also provides the USDA Foods credit
you receive for each of the USDA Foods diverted to the processor.
We will show you a sample SEPDS and how to use it shortly.
We would like to reiterate that before you decide to send USDA Food to a processor, you
need to determine what finished end-products you want to order from the processor, how
much end-product you will need for the SY, and the quantity of USDA Foods required to
make it. We will go over some calculations to help you order the correct amount of food
so that you do not run out of USDA Foods at a processor, or worse, end up with excess
inventory at a processor. We would like to mention that some processors
have calculation tools to assist you with determining the amount of USDA Foods needed
for a desired product, which can be very helpful. The first step is to determine the quantity
of cheese pizza a school needs to serve in a year. Please note that we have made up all
the numbers in these examples so they should not be used for actual ordering purposes.
Let us first determine the number of cases of pizza needed for a school year if a school
serves pizza once a month, for ten months, to 2,000 kids.
We will multiply 2,000 servings of pizza times 10 months. This equals 20,000 servings of
pizza needed for the school year. Each case of pizza from the processor contains
96 servings. Remember, you can determine the number of servings per case from the processor’s
SEPDS. We will then divide the 20,000 servings needed by 96 servings per case, which equals
208.33 cases. This is the number of cases needed to order to fulfill your menu requirement.
You must round up to 209 cases to ensure you have enough pizza to serve.
Using this calculation method, you now know that you will need to order 209 cases of cheese
pizza in order to serve it once a month, for ten months, to 2,000 students. Pretty simple,
right? First step complete. This is a sample SEPDS. We will be using it
to determine the amount of USDA cheese to send to the processor to make the 209 cases
of pizza. As you can see, the SEPDS shows us that this
processor accepts USDA tomato paste, flour, and mozzarella cheese. The SEPDS also shows
the USDA Food item code to ensure you are ordering the correct USDA Food.
To determine the amount of cheese needed you will notice that each case of pizza contains
6.12 pounds of cheese per case and you will receive a $10.51 credit for using USDA cheese
in each case of pizza. Now let us determine the amount of USDA cheese
to send to a processor. We are using the information from the SEPDS to determine how many pounds
of USDA cheese are in a case of pizza. We will build upon our previous calculation.
As you recall, we need to order 209 cases of pizza. As we just saw, the SEPDS tells
us that there are 6.12 pounds of mozzarella cheese in a case of pizza.
So from the SEPDS we need 6.12 pounds of mozzarella cheese per case and we need 209 cases of pizza,
so we will multiply the pounds per case by the cases needed to determine that we need
to order 1,279.8 pounds of USDA cheese, however; we will need to round up to 1,280 pounds since
we must order in full pounds. This is the amount of pounds of cheese you would order
to send to this processor on your processor survey in the CNIPS.
If you recall on the SEPDS, this processor also accepted USDA tomato paste and USDA flour.
If you chose to send tomato paste and/or the flour to this processor you would follow these
same steps to calculate the amount needed. Now that you know how to calculate the quantity
of USDA Foods to send to a processor, we will show you how to place an order.
The processing survey is used by both advance order and state co-op agencies and gives these
agencies the opportunity to send bulk USDA Foods to approved processors to make further
processed items. Agencies complete the processing survey in the CNIPS prior to the upcoming
school year. For example, this January and February schools will place their orders for
school year 2016-17. For each bulk item available for processing,
agencies enter the total number of units (in cases or pounds) to divert to a selected processor.
In order to avoid confusion, we created two processing surveys which separate items by
cases and pounds. This solved a few problems of accidently over or under ordering by ordering
in pounds when an item is cases. One-hundred pounds of something is much smaller than 100
cases! USDA Foods ordered via the processing survey
are sent directly to the processor from USDA and the end-products are delivered by the
processor or distributor directly to the ordering agency. These processed end-products do not
go through the state distribution centers. We would like to mention that agencies may
spend any portion of their entitlement for diverting USDA Foods to any approved processor.
Each agency determines how much of their total entitlement to set aside for processed USDA
Foods and the remaining balance is used towards brown box items and DoD produce.
The Processing Survey looks the same for both advance order and state co-op agencies. The
FDP staff create these in CNIPS and continue to create new surveys throughout the year
if new items become available, or if new delivery periods open, which may happen throughout
a school year. Approved processors, and the USDA Foods they
are approved to process, are maintained in the CNIPS. The system will prevent someone
from trying to divert invalid combinations of items and processors.
Now Felisha Zuniga will demonstrate how to access and complete the CNIPS Processor Survey.
Good Afternoon. I’m going to take a few moments now to walk
you through the 2016-17 School Year Processing Survey in the CNIPS test site.
I will be using my CDE Administrator login so you will see more options on my screen
than you do at the agency level. And since this is the CNIPS test site the screens will
look slightly different from the CNIPS screens you are used to seeing, but the functions
and processes are the same. When you log into CNIPS you are directed to
the CNIPS Programs main page. To access the processing survey you will select
the yellow Food Distribution Program module square, displayed here, in the lower right
hand corner. This will take you to the Food Distribution
Program’s Welcome page. Here you will find important notifications
pertaining to the Food Distribution Program, such as Management Bulletin notifications,
CNIPS contract update requirements, along with the Web site link with instructions for
completing the Food Distribution Program contract, and also the Web site link for the Food Distribution
Program’s CNIPS “How To” training videos, for instance, how to access, export, and print
invoices. From this screen you will select the Agencies
link on the blue ribbon located at the top of the screen to take you to the Agencies
Main Menu page. From the Agencies Menu you will select the
Surveys link from the left-hand side of the menu.
The Program Year default displayed is 2015-2016. Because this survey is for requesting Processor
Diversions for the 2016-17 School Year, you will need to change the program year by selecting
2016-17 from the Program Year drop down menu. At this time we are unable to create a new
program year for 2016-17 in the CNIPS live environment. The new program year 2016-17
will be created after the December 15th deadline for recipient agencies to change the way they
receive their USDA Foods for the upcoming school year.
Once you have the correct Program Year, you will need to verify that the SNP option is
selected from the Program drop down menu. Now here’s where my screen will differ from
yours. Since I have access to all Recipient Agencies within the Food Distribution Program
CNIPS module, I have a drop down menu for the Agency Survey Search Criteria. You will
only have access to your own school’s data. For this demonstration, I will be using the
Alpine Union Elementary School District. After you input the survey search criteria
you will select the continue button to take you to the available surveys entry page.
The survey entry page will list all the surveys that have been made available for the 2016-17
school year. The first column displays the survey number.
The participation status column shows you which surveys you have submitted;
which surveys have not been submitted; and surveys in which you have chosen not to participate.
In the next column, the survey type, is displayed. There are three survey types available in
CNIPS: The annual survey which we use for the annual preference survey, the processing
survey used for those items shipped directly to the processor, and the preplanner survey
used for both the brown box items shipped to the state distribution centers and for
DOD produce shipped to those agencies not using the FFAVORS online ordering system.
This survey is only available to state co-op members that order their brown-box items in
advance. The fourth column lists the survey name, followed
by the due date, which is the date we, at the CDE FDP, will close the survey. Surveys
are generally closed at 4:00 pm on the date indicated in this column.
The final column displays the survey status. A survey will either be closed or open.
In order to avoid confusion and mis-ordering, we created two processing surveys. One survey
includes only those items that USDA orders in cases and the other survey is for only
those items that USDA orders in pounds. Requesting 100 pounds of an item is significantly less
than 100 cases of an item that is ordered in 60 pound cases. This would short the Agency’s
need by 5,900 pounds. If you do not see an item you normally order
on one survey, please check the other survey; items are not duplicated on the surveys.
So from here, I will select survey number 1107 to take us to the 16-17 processor survey
which only includes those items ordered in cases.
This may take a few moments to load in the CNIPS environment when you complete your survey
due the high number of items included on the survey.
The top screen of the survey form screen will display your agency name and vendor number.
Below that, you will see the survey information details section followed by the special instructions
box. Here you will find the contact information for your ordering coordinator, should you
have any problems with the processing survey. If you are not participating in the survey,
please check the box on the left-hand side indicating that you will not participate.
Checking this box will ensure that your agency stops receiving the survey notification reminder
emails generated by CNIPS. Please note that the CNIPS automatic survey
notification reminders are generated by CNIPS using the program and ordering contact email
address information provided in your CNIPS contract. If you have had a change in staff
or a change in the email address itself, please make the update in your CNIPS FDP contract
to ensure you are receiving emails from the Food Distribution Program.
At this time CNIPS still uses the word “commodity”, so for this demo I may use the term commodity
when referencing USDA Foods items. This is something we hope to correct in the near future.
The first column includes commodity detail information such as the material number, pack
size, and estimated USDA market value. CNIPS is currently using the estimated 2015-16 SY
pricing. Also included is the 80 cents per case admin
fee, the minimum units, and the minimum units to multiple processors requirement to order
processor items. These requirements are based on the processor minimums, not FDP’s requirements.
Items included on the actual processing survey, which we anticipate opening February 1st,
will be taken from the 2016-17 USDA Foods Available List.
In the second column we have the unit type. This survey will only include those items
ordered in cases. The third column shows the units diverted.
This column is for State use only and will remain “0” until confirmation is received
from the USDA and a sales order number is associated to the item requested.
The fourth column is where you will input the units to process totals. The quantity
entered in this column should represent your agency’s total annual need for each specific
item being requested. In the final column you will select, from
a drop down list, which processor the item being requested will be shipped to. For some
items there are multiple processors to select from. There are ten slots for each item available
to submit multiple requests to the different processors you wish to have USDA Foods items
shipped to. If you are sending product to different processors, you will need to complete
the units to process for each processor destination. Before I proceed in demonstrating the processing
survey ordering process, I want to mention again that we are using the CNIPS test site
and that these are sample surveys only. These surveys include an abbreviated list of the
USDA Foods available and units minimums have been invented.
The first item we will order is the frozen apple slices, material number 100258. In the
units to process column, let’s request 10 cases of the frozen apple slices, to be sent
to Wawona Frozen Foods. You will notice that when I click on the processor drop down list
I have the option of sending this product to the following processors: Wawona Frozen
Foods, Tabatchnick Fine Foods, Buena Vista Food Products, Inc., Horizon Snack Foods,
and National Food Group. I will click on Wawona Frozen Foods to select
this processor for this item. Let’s place another order for the mozzarella
cheese, material number 100022, for 10 cases to be shipped to Ardella’s. This item is only
approved to be shipped to Ardella’s Pizza and Buena Vista Food Products.
Now that your order is complete, we will select the calculate entitlement button, located
at the bottom of the survey screen, to calculate the total entitlement spent.
As you can see, shown here is the entitlement used for this survey and just above that is
the amount of entitlement remaining, as displayed here.
The CNIPS will also display the estimated administrative fees that will be charged,
by us at the CDE FDP, to divert USDA Foods to a processor in the estimated fees section.
Once you are satisfied with the orders placed, you will select the continue button at this
time where you will have one last chance to review your order for accuracy and if everything
is correct, here’s where you’ll select the submit survey button.
There may be a slight delay while CNIPS is processing the survey so please do not click
the submit button more than once. Once CNIPS has processed your survey you should
receive the following message that your survey was saved successfully.
Select the finished button to complete the processing survey. This will also return you
to the survey entry screen to complete the processing survey for the items ordered in
pounds. You will notice that the participation status
for survey number 1107 has now be changed to submitted.
If you do not have time to input your order in one session, you may select the submit
survey button at any time to save your work in progress and return at a later date to
finish. Changes to this survey may be completed up until the CNIPS surveys are closed.
I will now select survey number 1106 to take us to the 16-17 processor survey which only
includes those items ordered in pounds. You will notice that the screen displays the
same information as the previous processing survey. One difference is the unit type, which
should all display as pounds. Another difference is the admin fee charge. Whereas the admin
fee charge on the processing survey for cases displays the 80 cents per case charge, the
USDA Foods included on the pounds survey will have different admin fee charges depending
on the pounds per case equivalent for each item.
Agencies are invoiced 80 cents per case for USDA Foods shipped directly to the processor.
For items ordered in pounds, we have calculated a per pound charge based on the established
$0.80 cents per case admin fee. To illustrate, let’s look at the beans, pinto,
dry tote, material number 110381. The admin fee displayed is $0.016 cents per pound. The
FDP determined that the total pounds per case for this item is 50 pounds. In order to calculate
the per pound charge we divided the $0.80 cents per case admin fee by the total pounds
per case, which for this example of the dry pinto beans is 50 pounds, to get a per pound
admin fee of $0.016 cents. Now as with the previous survey, if your agency
will not be participating in this particular survey, please remember to check the box on
the left-hand side indicating that you will not participate. Checking this box will ensure
that your agency stops receiving the survey notification reminder emails generated by
CNIPS for this survey. Okay, now let’s place an order for the beef,
coarse, ground, fine, material number 100154. In the units to process column, I will request
100 pounds to be sent to Don Lee Farms. You will notice that when I click on the processor
drop down list I have the option of sending this product to the following processors:
JTM Provisions, Don Lee Farms, Rich Products, Integrated Food Service, Advance Pierre, and
American Foods Group. I will click on Don Lee Farms to select this
processor for this item. The next item I will order is the chicken,
large, chilled, material number 100103 for 100 pounds to Rich Chicks. For this item there
are four processors to choose from in the processor drop down list: Kings Delight, Pilgrim’s
Pride, Tyson, and Rich Chicks. I will select Rich Chicks to complete this
request, but I would also like to place an additional request for 100 pounds of the chicken,
large, chilled to Kings Delight. Under my first request to Rich Chicks I will input
100 pounds in the units to process column and select Kings Delight from the processor
column. This is an example of ordering one USDA Foods item to multiple processors.
Now that my order is complete, I will select the calculate entitlement button, located
at the bottom of the survey screen to calculate the total entitlement spent on this survey
and the amount of entitlement remaining. The balance displayed for the entitlement remaining
will reflect the entitlement used on both surveys. Once I am satisfied with the orders placed, I will select the continue button. After I
have reviewed my order and am satisfied that it is correct, I will then select the submit
survey button. Remember that there may be a slight delay
while CNIPS is processing the survey so please do not click the submit button more than once.
Once CNIPS has processed your survey you should receive the following message that your survey
was saved successfully. Select the finished button to complete the
processing survey and return you to the survey entry page.
As with the previous survey, if you do not have time to input your order in one session,
you may select the submit button at any time to save your work in progress and return at
a later date to finish. Changes to either survey may be completed up until the CNIPS
surveys are closed. This concludes our demonstration. I will now
turn you back over to Amy Bell to complete the Webinar.
If you need further assistance with the processing surveys, you may contact Siernah Barron, our
Advance Order Coordinator. If you have any questions for our state co-op coordinators
you may contact Felisha Zuniga, our South State Co-op Coordinator, or Geovanna Toliver-Bean,
our North State Co-op Coordinator. If you have questions regarding any particular
processors or processing in general, you may contact Neena Kaur or Jeanette Lund, two of
our processing consultants. If you have general questions regarding the FDP you may contact
me, Amy Bell or Sherry Tam. We are required to remind you that this institution
is an equal opportunity provider. This now concludes our Webinar.
We thank you for spending the afternoon with us and hope you enjoyed today’s presentation.

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