Issue 1, September 2017


Fall is almost upon us and school is back in session! I hope you have a fruitful and productive year. As the current president of ACDA, it is both an honor and privilege to serve membership.

We have been undertaking several new communication initiatives through our social media page and our new Public Policy e-mail alert service on our website. If you haven’t already done so, please go like our Facebook page and go to our website ( and subscribe to the public policy e-mail subscription service to keep updated on the most current ACDA activities. I am also proud to announce the revival of the ACDA newsletter (which you are currently reading). Members have requested to know what is going on with the association and what better way than through a newsletter!

Another item of note, ACDA will be conducting its first ever national educational webinar on October 17, 2017. We look forward to offering membership other educational opportunities outside of conference. Speaking of conference, don’t forget to save the date for our next one in Minneapolis, MN April 29th- May 2nd, 2018.

ACDA is the recognized leader and voice for continuation and improvement of USDA Food Distribution Programs. ACDA is a volunteer association, and I just want to take a moment to thanks those individuals on the board and committees for their countless hours of service to further the association and USDA Food Distribution Programs.

ACDA: Working together to nourish the Nation


Chris Facha

2017-18 ACDA President

USDA Foods Resources: Get Connected with FNS!

The USDA Food and Nutrition Service offers a variety of resources for USDA Foods program stakeholders. Check out the Food Distribution Webinars and Training page for links to our webinar recordings and other training materials. Visit our USDA Foods E-Letters page to learn how to subscribe to the monthly “USDA Foods from Farm to Plate” e-letter featuring program news, resources, and best practices, and to view previous editions. Child Nutrition Professionals may also be interested in the USDA Foods Toolkit, which offers an array of educational resources and marketing tools. 

And don’t forget to send us your feedback on the USDA Foods program! We welcome your questions and ideas – whether they be for new foods to explore or stories to feature in our e-letter – any time at the USDA Foods mailbox, Thank you for your partnership in the USDA Foods program!

-Submitted by Lindsay Williams

The Recipient Agency Perspective on Forecasting
Tuesday, October 17 | 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. ET

Join us for this educational webinar to learn how your cycle menu and accurately forecasting can maximize your customers’ satisfaction. Presenters will also discuss how open communication techniques with all stakeholders can maintain high service levels and product availability to all customers. Fully utilizing USDA Foods will also be explored.

Earn 1 Hour Professional Development!
USDA Professional Standard Code: 2400 / Key Area: Operations


Don’t forget to “like” our Facebook Page at American Commodity Distribution Association 

Member Spotlight

Faith Ford

Title: Chef Supervisor, Child Nutrition Program K-12

Employer: Anoka-Hennepin School District

Bio: 1 part chef, 1 part food scientist, 2 parts food photographer and 3 parts family matriarch. Too many parts? Contact Faith at to pull all the parts together!

Fun Fact or Quote: 

"We must reject the idea that every time a law is broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his/her actions." -- President Ronald Reagan

Tell us the benefits of being an ACDA member: The opportunity to network with like-minded industry talent, problem solve and to help others achieve their professional goals.

Being an ACDA Member, what do you especially like or appreciate about ACDA? Well duh...the people! Conference & Training opportunities are different than other food industry venues.

-Submitted by Faith Ford

Public Policy Updates

Stay in the know about issues that impact the USDA Food Distribution Program. The posts listed below are available to the public. Click here to subscribe to receive the public policy notices available to the general public.

ACDA Committee Updates

Buy American Task Force

We are excited to announce a new 22-person Buy American Task Force (BATF). The task force represents all American Commodity Distribution Association (ACDA) memberships and uses the United States Department of Agriculture’s SP38-2017 for guidance.

The task force meets monthly and members are excited to bring diversity and grassroots issues to the forefront of the discussion. The task force will assist ACDA members to understand the Buy American policy requirements. It realizes that industry members have strong concerns about these requirements. Much of this feedback stems from the lost sales to imported products sold at cheaper prices in absence of a formal Buy American waiver process.

With the other food purchasing authorities present – either at the state or local level – there is a frustration with insufficient increases in meal reimbursements coupled with a perceived requirement to purchase more expensive foods. The production areas are more likely to be concerned about Buy American than non-production areas. Although we can address each of these issues and more, it is the task force’s position to prioritize and accomplish its goals.

The task force established that its mission is to assist ACDA members in an ongoing understanding of and compliance with the statutory and regulatory Buy American requirements for school meal programs. The task force is underway and knows that this policy impacts all ACDA members.

The task force’s top five list includes:

  1. The Buy American policy has ambiguity and confusion. All membership areas express this concern. The committee will dissect these issues and develop answers to frequently asked questions to assist ACDA members.
  2. There are higher costs associated with the Buy American policy and a concern about producers not being able to meet national demands.
  3. A more formal template and guidance is needed through training.
  4. There are procurement challenges when required to take the lowest bidder.
  5. The ACDA conference and other national conferences will provide training. Details are forthcoming.

This task force is dedicated to accomplishing its goals and finding solutions on behalf of all ACDA stakeholders. I am proud to represent the task force and serve as its chair to help craft clear and efficient guidance.

-Submitted by Andrea Denning

-Co-chair, Roger Szemraj

Communications Committee

The 2017-18 Communications Committee seeks to align communications directly with board goals. We plan to encourage new membership, retain and engage current members, and provide insightful and informative information via the ACDA website, Blog and Forum Posts, eNewsletters, and Social Media (Facebook). All communication platforms will work collectively.

The ACDA Communication Committee for SY17-18 is structured with two co-chairs: Brian Hofmeier and Leah Sullivan

We work year-round on ways to promote ACDA and tell people what we do and why they should be involved in our organization!

Below is the latest from the School Nutrition Association Annual National Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, held at the World Congress Center July 9th – July 12th, 2017.

-Submitted by Brian Hofmeier

ACDA Membership Committee Chair, Jose Quinones talking with the First Lady of Virginia about USDA Foods and ACDA.

ACDA was proud to have 63 Industry Member companies that displayed at the SNA ANC in Atlanta!

Carole Erb, ACDA Processing Committee Co-Chair and Jose Quinones, ACDA Membership Committee Chair working the USDA Help Desk.

Processing Committee

The ACDA Processing Committee for SY17-18 is structured with two co-chairs, four State Agency Representatives along with Representatives for Brokers, Distributors and Recipient Agencies. Subcommittees include: Red Meat, Poultry, Cheese, Forms, Fish, Fruits and Vegetables along with Flour and Grains. Mike Birkmeyer with the State of Maryland and Carole Erb, JTM Provisions Co, Inc. will lead the Processing Committee meeting this fall, to be held October 25 and 26 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Arlington-Shirlington, VA. Linda Hubeny with FNS is the USDA liaison.

The purpose of the Processing Committee is to provide guidance to USDA on all matters pertaining to Processing. In addition to the annual meeting held in the fall, the committee gathers during the ACDA ANC as well as conducts conference calls as necessary throughout the year. As we begin to prepare for the upcoming fall meeting, ACDA members will receive invitations to participate in calls to discuss issues and ideas to be brought forward to the Processing Committee for further discussion. Your participation is much appreciated!

To mention just two of the more recent activities of the Processing Committee: the Forms Subcommittee finalized an update of the State Processing Agreements (Processors are required to enter all shipment receipts within two calendar days of delivery into WBSCM,) and the Distributor Representative (Dorothy Cole with GFS,) is working on a Distributor Guidance Handbook.

The Processing Committee remains committed to assisting the ACDA Board in continual improvement of the USDA Foods Distribution Program. Through on-going education and a collaborative working environment, new ideas along with existing policy are discussed to assist in the sustainability effort. The Processing Committee thanks you for your support!

-Submitted by Mike Birkmeyer and Carole Erb

Thanks for Reading!

Thank you for your continued support of ACDA. If you have any eNewsletter ideas or submissions for an upcoming ACDA eNewsletter, please send those to Leah Sullivan at

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