Interflex
July 2014
In This Issue
ANC 2014
We've got Answers
Smart Snacks
Gluten Free
Tips & Tricks
News from the AHG
Get Active
Coming Soon
Connect with us
Welcome!


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ANC 2014 in Boston!

Interflex will be at the School Nutrition Association's Annual National Conference in Boston this year, July 13th - 16th.  
Find us at Booth # 600 

Attend our Roundtable Session: 
A Total Bidding Resource for the Entire Supply Chain:  learn about a free procurement tool that allows school operators, manufacturers, distributors, and brokers to work together and create specifications, issue bids and simplify procurement. This session will be held at two times:  July 13th at 8:15am and again at 12:00 noon (Room 152 - Level 1 - CC) 
 
 
You Asked...  
In our spring newsletter we asked you to submit your toughest procurement, regulation, and child nutrition related questions. Answers to a few of the best questions are below:

Q:  Will there be revised Manufacturer Formulation Statements showing the 2014-15 school year or should we continue to use the one that shows school year 2013-14?
A:  The revision of Manufacturer Formulation Statements may differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. For the most up to date information, you should contact the manufacturer of the product in which you're interested. The meal program operator at the school district is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the menu fulfills all meal pattern requirements and to request and verify any supporting documentation, including Manufacturer Product Formulation Statements.

Q:  Does produce have to be competitively bid through a CSP or just receive a minimum of 3 weekly quotes?
A:  The procurement method necessary is determined by the size of the bid.  The Federal Purchase Threshold is $150,000.  If your bid is worth $150,000 or less than you can use an Informal method of procurement requiring price quotes from at least 3 bidders.  If your bid is worth more than $150,000 then you should use a Formal procurement method - Sealed Bids (IFBs), Competitive Sealed Proposals (CSPs or RFPs) - which require public advertising.  If your state's purchase threshold is more strict than, or less than the $150,000 Federal Threshold then you are required to follow your state's threshold.  You may be required to adhere to a district or local procurement threshold as well.  Always comply with the most restrictive threshold.

Q:  If purchasing "local" produce and produce, do these need to be bid separately to award the "local items to the farmer?
A: 
When procuring produce you have the option of combining produce items that you would like to receive from local sources with non-local produce onto one bid together OR bidding them separately depending on your needs, your definition of "local," and your evaluation and award process. For instance, if you plan to award the bid to a single, prime vendor based on the lowest overall cost from a responsible and responsive bidder, then you would note your desire to receive local products when available. You might also include both local and non-local varieties on the product list you are seeking. Additionally, you may consider including technical requirements that may target vendors that are able to offer local products such as the ability to arrange a farm tour or listing the farm of origin for all products. These requirements could be used to assess if the vendor is responsive and responsible. Another possibility is to include product specifications that target local items such as particular varieties or particular amount of time (24-48 hours) between harvest and delivery. Some schools may choose to include evaluation criteria in an RFP that target vendors providing local items. And finally, you may consider using geographic preference in a solicitation for a prime vendor. You might structure the preference in a way that offers an advantage to firms that are able to source products from a particular number of farms or a certain amount of produce locally. Any of these tactics would allow vendors offering both local and non-local produce to bid. You may choose to procure the items that you would like to receive from local sources separately. If you pursue this route, make sure that your main produce contract states that buying from suppliers outside of this contract is allowable. Also remember that you may not issue a solicitation that states you only want local products. Specifying local is considered overly restrictive. By purchasing the items you want to come from local sources separately enables you to include more targeted requirements and may use geographic preference in another way. By doing separate procurements, the value of the products you want to source locally may fall under the small purchase threshold enabling you to use the informal procurement method. For more information on procuring local foods, we recommend you visit USDA Farm to School website and check out the Procuring Local Foods for Child Nutrition Programs Guide.

 

Q:  Does Interflex BidAdvantage integrate with our inventory management and ordering software?  We have Horizon.
A:  Yes. Interflex and Horizon have teamed up to streamline the process for schools. We are able to transfer data between BidAdvantage and OneSource, meaning all of your award information from your bid in BidAdvantage can be used in OneSource for inventory management, ordering, etc. Information can also be transferred over from OneSource into BidAdvantage so that your usage, new products, and updated item descriptions are ready to be used on your next bid. Visit Horizon's booth (# 632) at ANC in Boston to learn more about how Horizon OneSource and Interflex BidAdvantage for Schools work together. 

Q:  Can you help with the new sodium and calorie count for next year?
A:  Beginning school year 2014-2015, schools must meet the Target 1 sodium restrictions, on average on a weekly basis, in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program, which are as follows:
 
Lunch 
Breakfast
Grades K-5:
<1230 mg  < 540 mg 
Grades 6-8:<1360 mg  < 600 mg
Grades 9-12:<1420 mg  < 640 mg 

All competitive food sold in schools must meet the new Smart Snack guidelines. The breakdown of sodium and calorie limits for competitive foods are as follows:

 
Entree  
Snack 
Calories:
< 350 < 200 
Sodium: 
< 480 mg 
 < 230 mg

See our Spotlight on Smart Snacks below for an overview of the new Smart Snack standards, including sodium and calorie counts.

Special Thanks to Christina Conell, Program Analyst for the USDA Food and Nutrition Service Farm to School Program, for lending her expertise on purchasing local. 
Spotlight on Smart Snacks: Food      

The USDA's standards for all food sold in schools are in effect as of July 1, 2014. To help with the transition, check out our breakdown of the new regulations for competitive foods:
 
Get the guide:
Be sure to download our full guide on Smart Snacks in Schools to read about how the new standards apply, exemptions, beverage standards, and more.
 
 
Looking for more information? 
Explore these resources to become a Smart Snacks expert:
The Scoop on Gluten

Why gluten-free?
Many individuals are unable to consume gluten due to an intolerance. Celiac Disease, which is not to be confused with a wheat allergy, is an autoimmune digestive disease. If someone with Celiac Disease consumes gluten their small intestine reacts abnormally causing a variety of symptoms depending on the individual and can lead to further complications including malnourishment and damage to the intestine.

Where is gluten found?
Gluten comes from specific grains, namely wheat, rye, barley, and sometimes oats, and the by-products of these grains. 

How are gluten-free foods doing in schools? Specifications on bids tracked by Interflex in the AwardedBids.com database that specify "gluten-free" items are increasing. The chart below shows the growth from 2012-2013 to the 2013-2014 school year:
 

How can I learn more? To learn more about Celiac Disease and gluten-free diets check out the Food Allergy Research & Education website, The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, or the Celiac Disease Foundation.  
Tips & Tricks:  AwardedBids.com
 
Looking for 2014-2015 award information? Follow these steps to view and export the 2014-2015 awarded bid information that Interflex has gathered so far:
1.  Log into AwardedBids.com
2.  Select the following search criteria (pictured below):
     -  Bid Type:  Awarded
     -  Archived:  No
     -  Timeframe:  Bid End Date after 9/30/2014
3.  You can narrow down to the product types you're interested in by checking the categories and/or sub-categories listed on the right side of the screen
4.  Click "Search"



You can export this information in your search results by clicking "export search results" below the search criteria. This will send you an email with an Excel file attached which will contain all of the detailed information from 2014-2015 awarded bids in your search results.

Please contact Kirsten Snyder (ksnyder@interflex.net / (800)293-2909 x228) with any questions. 
News from The Alliance for a Healthier Generation

AHG New Logo

The Alliance Nutrition Advisors in Boston for ANC 

We hope that you join us in Boston for the School Nutrition Association's Annual National Conference (ANC) July 13 - 16! This conference is a one-stop-shop for networking, learning and getting all the resources you need to make your child nutrition program successful. Several of the Alliance national nutrition experts are leading discussions. Hope to see you at one of our sessions.

 

The Green Bean Queen

Watch a wacky cafeteria manager and no-nonsense physical education teacher join together to transform John M. Sexton Elementary School into a healthy place to learn, work, and play. With support from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation's Healthy Schools Program, they overhaul the school lunch menu, convince kids to try new fresh fruits and vegetables, and integrate exercise and physical activity throughout the school day.  

Sexton's
Sexton's "Green Bean Queen" Builds a Healthier School

Smart Snack Ambassadors Provide Useful Strategies

The USDA's new Smart Snack standards take effect in schools across the country on July and now is the time to check out how these five Ambassadors are giving their students healthier snacking options in schools. Review their recipes for success and think about how you can continue to help transform your school into a healthy place for kids to learn and grow.

Get Active!  
With school out for the summer it's time to get moving. The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate activity 5 days per week, or 25 minutes of vigorous activity 3 days per week. We've rounded up some tips and tricks to get you on your way:
  • Buddy up:  instead of going it alone, try going for a walk with a friend or a group. Get your family involved in a game of tag outside or visit a community pool with a friend. Including others can make exercise more fun and motivate you to keep going!
  • Set goals:  Let's Move! recommends setting specific objectives. Saying you want to walk 30 minutes today is more effective and achievable than saying you'll exercise more this week. Setting goals can also help you make physical activity part of your regular routine.
  • Reward yourself:  when you reach the goals you've set be sure to recognize your achievement. 
  • Be flexible:  if you planned to walk and it rains, be flexible and try a different activity indoors.
  • Track your progress:  give yourself a star on the calendar for each day you meet your activity goal, or use one of the many tools online to help you add up your activity:

No matter what you do to get active, remember that something is always better than nothing, so every little bit counts!

   

Ready for more? Check out the Staff Fitness Break Cards from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation:   

Happiness at Work is a Step-or Wall-Sit-Away!

Bring a spring into your step in the workplace! Our new Staff Fitness Break Cards give you instructions and visuals for a variety of stretches and exercises you can do anytime during the work day. Download our Staff Fitness Break Cards and try these steps to move yourself, you school and your workplace.

Coming Soon... 

Interflex will be launching a new website that will be easier to navigate, provide more comprehensive information about our solutions, and will provide one central log-in page for all users (including BidAdvantage for Manufacturers, Awarded Bids, Analytics, and BidAdvantage for Schools).  Look for our new website soon!  
Need Help?
Interflex's team of customer service representatives are here for you.
Call (800)293-2909 or
email custserv@interflex.net
to get a helping hand.
Connect with Us
 
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Visit us on the web:  
www.interflex.net 
 A warm welcome to our newest clients:
 
Advanced Food Products
The Bama Companies
Beanitos
The Dannon Company
First Quality EnterprisesLesaffre Yeast Corporation
PepsiCoRhodes InternationalWestminster Cracker Company

Interflex Inc. | 10 Commerce Dr. | Wyomissing, Pennsylvania 19610 | 1.800.293.2909