The Agriculture Department has normalized deliveries of fresh products to public school lunchrooms, a task performed by the Agricultural Enterprise Development Administration’s Institutional Markets Program.
Agriculture Secretary Carlos Flores-Ortega said the AEDA had to wait longer than usual waiting for the approval of the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico because the contracts exceeded $10 million annually. That is the threshold for public contracts, which must be reviewed by the Oversight Board and the Office of Management and Budget before signing contracts with the local suppliers.
“This is a chain and time moves forward. We hope that next year we will not go through the same thing, as we will start working with those contracts with more anticipation than usual,” said Flores-Ortega.
Fresh produce will be served starting next week with the following products: pork, beef steak, pork fajitas, breaded chicken, corned beef, whole grain tortillas, Tropicana lettuce, orange juice, peeled oranges, garlic, onion, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, green pepper, pickles, cabbage, tomatoes and carrots.
During the course of the semester other root vegetables and produce will also be included as part of the diet provided the Department of Education.