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Processing/Diversion Details

This page is meant to assist agencies with diverting USDA Foods for further processing. This often results in the agency being able to offer fnished products that it wouldn't have been able to afford or prepare otherwise. Processing can even be local!

Program Key Points:
  • Contract with commercial food processors to convert raw bulk USDA Foods
  • Delivery minimums and Value Pass Through depend on processors
  • ODE service fee $0.15 per lb

Program Contact: ODE USDA Foods Program

What is Diversion/Processing?

Apples bulk
The Diversion/Processing option allows recipient agencies to divert bulk USDA Foods material to processors for further processing. Processors use that bulk material as an ingredient in the production of a finished end-product. This lowers the cost of the finished end-product and represents a pass-though value to the agency because USDA bulk products are ordered at a lower cost. As a result, agencies are able to offer a variety of convenient, ready-to-use finished end-products to meet the needs of a diversity of students.

Take a look at the Processing Reference Summary SY23-24 for examples of what USDA Foods bulk items are used to produce a variety of end-products.

Deciding to Process

Deciding to Process Steps

Weigh the benefits versus drawbacks and consider whether or not processing is a good option for your agency. Having a clear idea of the effort it takes will help you process succesfully.

What do you want to process? Consult with processors about your needs and get ideas from what other RAs do. View our Processor and Broker contact list.

Will you achieve value? Use the USDA Foods Direct Delivery/Processing Cost Analysis Tool to assist you with calculating and comparing the cost of USDA Foods against their commercial prices.

How much entitlement do you have towards processing? check your entitlement in WBSCM login

Do you have the volume to meet processors' delivery minimums? check the Summary End Product Data Schedules (SEPDS) to check processors' costs and delivery minimums.

Are you ready to follow the procurement timing and commit the time throughout the year? maybe it is easier for you to use our ODE Processing Agreements.

Continue reading to better understand the processing cycles and timeline.

Cycles of Processing

Processing Cycles Picture

Prior to the next school year, the processing cycle begins with planning and determining needs based on your menus. Then comes the procurement time which involves writing specifications, obtaining quotes or use ODE price agreements and awarding contracts. Once you contracted with a processor the next phase is ordering lbs in WBSCM to get bulk USDA material and divert these pounds to your processor. Once you requested USDA foods for the next year, the last phase is ordering finished end-products.

As you are planning for the next year however, you must also manage the current year and manage banks.

Recommended Processing Timeline

Processing Timeline  This is our recommended processing timeline. Successful processing involves a year-long effort. While the most important is to know when to request your USDA bulk material and not miss the spring deadline, processing is more than ordering bulk food in WBSCM. Processing timeline includes managing the current year and also preparing for the next year. It follows a processing cycle that begins with planning, then procurement, then ordering pounds in WBSCM and last, ordering finished end-products. Processing means on ongoing process of managing banks while preparing for next year.