AVUHSD produce

The Antelope Valley Union High School District approved a contract that would provide fresh fruit such as apples in students’ school lunches, despite dissenting votes from Victoria Ruffin and Amanda Parrell.

LANCASTER — Antelope Valley Union High School District Board members Victoria Ruffin and Amanda Parrell voted against a contract to provide fresh produce for students in several Antelope Valley school districts.

Acting without discussion, the Board voted 3-2 at Wednesday night’s meeting to approve a  $225,000 request for proposal with Antelope Valley Produce Co.

The produce includes 54 varieties of fruit and vegetables, including apples, avocados, bananas, carrots, cilantro, cucumbers, oranges, pears, squash, romaine lettuce and salad mixes.

The District’s Food Services solicited and conducted a request for proposal on behalf of the Antelope Valley School Buying Cooperative. The recommendation to award the bid to AV Produce Co. is based on Food Services’ best value point system inclusive of lowest cost, flavor and quality, past performance and reliability, reasonable minimums and conditions, and proximity, according to a staff report.

The contract is good from Jan. 31 through Jan. 30, 2022. It includes a renewal option for two consecutive years. The AV School Buying Cooperative includes neighboring school districts such as Palmdale School District, Eastside,  Keppel and Westside union school Districts, and Wilsona and Lancaster school Districts. Each District is responsible for establishing their own account with AV Produce Co., and is responsible for all financial obligations and terms under the agreement, according to the report.

The request for proposal is designed for the Districts of the Antelope Valley for fresh produce services. AV Produce is a local vendor who sources fresh produce from the LA Market and Farms. The produce provided through AV Produce is used in a wide variety of meal applications and is so important given the requirement of a fruit or vegetable with every reimbursable meal. Joe Cook, director of Food Services wrote in an email.

“Through this cooperative agreement all parties under the agreement enjoy increased efficiencies and savings in addition to having a vendor who can supply schools on-demand which is needed today more than ever,” Cook wrote.

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