B-151726, JUL. 30, 1963

B-151726: Jul 30, 1963

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TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE: THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO A LETTER DATED JUNE 6. WHAT IS HERE INVOLVED IS A TRANSFER AT THE CLOSE OF THE 1961 SCHOOL YEAR OF FROZEN FOODS (GROUND BEEF AND CHICKENS VALUED AT $111.75). THE TRANSFER WAS EFFECTED BY THE ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION UPON BEING INFORMED THAT THE SEWARD PUBLIC SCHOOLS WOULD NO LONGER PARTICIPATE IN THE NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM. THE ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION DETERMINED THAT IT WAS IMPRACTICAL TO TRANSFER THE FROZEN FOODS TO ANCHORAGE. THE LETTER OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY STATES IT IS THE OPINION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE THAT THE ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION "ACTED IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE PROGRAM (NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM) BY HAVING THE COMMODITIES UTILIZED RATHER THAN RISKING COMPLETE LOSS IN A RESHIPMENT TO ANCHORAGE.

B-151726, JUL. 30, 1963

TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE:

THIS IS IN RESPONSE TO A LETTER DATED JUNE 6, 1963, FROM THE HONORABLE JOHN P. DUNCAN, JR., ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, CONCERNING A DIVERSION, BY THE ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION TO AN INELIGIBLE RECIPIENT, OF COMMODITIES MADE AVAILABLE FOR DISTRIBUTION BY THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE UNDER SECTION 6 OF THE NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH ACT (42 U.S.C. 1755).

WHAT IS HERE INVOLVED IS A TRANSFER AT THE CLOSE OF THE 1961 SCHOOL YEAR OF FROZEN FOODS (GROUND BEEF AND CHICKENS VALUED AT $111.75), WHICH HAD BEEN FURNISHED THE SEWARD (ALASKA) PUBLIC SCHOOLS, TO THE JESSE LEE HOME, SEWARD, ALASKA, AN INSTITUTION PROVIDING CARE FOR CHILDREN BUT NOT AN ELIGIBLE RECIPIENT UNDER THE NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM. THE TRANSFER WAS EFFECTED BY THE ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION UPON BEING INFORMED THAT THE SEWARD PUBLIC SCHOOLS WOULD NO LONGER PARTICIPATE IN THE NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM.

THE TRANSFERRED FROZEN COMMODITIES REQUIRED ZERO STORAGE FOR SAFEKEEPING AND HAD BEEN STORED FOR A CONSIDERABLE PERIOD OF TIME. THE ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION DETERMINED THAT IT WAS IMPRACTICAL TO TRANSFER THE FROZEN FOODS TO ANCHORAGE, THE LOCATION OF THE CLOSEST ELIGIBLE RECIPIENTS, A DISTANCE OF 150 MILES. IT VIEWED THE SITUATION AS PRESENTING THE ALTERNATIVE OF DESTROYING THE COMMODITIES OR TRANSFERRING THEM TO THE JESSE LEE HOME, WHERE THEY WOULD BE CONSUMED BY CHILDREN ATTENDING THE SEWARD PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

THE LETTER OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY STATES IT IS THE OPINION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE THAT THE ALASKA DEPARTMENT OF ADMINISTRATION "ACTED IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE PROGRAM (NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM) BY HAVING THE COMMODITIES UTILIZED RATHER THAN RISKING COMPLETE LOSS IN A RESHIPMENT TO ANCHORAGE, A DISTANCE OF 150 MILES," AND REQUESTS OUR CONCURRENCE IN CLOSING THIS CASE WITHOUT ASSERTING A CLAIM AGAINST THE STATE OF ALASKA FOR THE VALUE OF THE FROZEN FOODS THUS UTILIZED.