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State School Food Systems To Benefit From Fee Cut

tt-smallCreating a potential savings of $1 million a year for school districts, the California Department of Education’s (CDE) Food Distribution Program (FDP) announced Monday that shipping, handling, and administrative fees charged in the distribution of U.S. Department of Agriculture food goods will be reduced by 20 percent beginning October 1.

“With the financial emergency facing our schools, it’s more important than ever to contain costs and pass those savings to where they will do the most good — our schools and classrooms," said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

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He added that the Department has worked to reassess fees charged to district food service programs to make sure they are no greater than the bare minimum required to sustain the program.

“We’ve estimated that districts statewide could realize a total savings of up to $1 million a year through this adjustment. In an economy like the one we have today, every dollar saved makes a difference,” he said.

The 20 percent reduction encompasses all food shipped via State Distribution Centers as well as administrative fees assessed by the FDP for shipments of U.S. Department of Agriculture foods sent directly to recipient agencies.

“We have upgraded warehouse services, modernized equipment, such as trucks and trailers, and installed software that has allowed us to more efficiently administer the Food Distribution Program and pass savings along to school districts," Torlakson said.

Over the past few years, the FDP has implemented technologies such as the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System and Invetrak, an automated bar-coding system, which have helped streamline ordering, billing, and the management and tracking of inventory.