Working Together to Nourish the Nation

“Did You Know? Buy American"

  • Tuesday, April 16, 2019 9:46 AM
    Message # 7284984
    Deleted user

    USDA - United States Department of Agriculture

    April 15, 2019

    Did You Know...

    American agriculture provides a variety of nutritious foods for school meals? 


    The Buy American provision requires school food authorities (SFAs) to purchase to the maximum extent practical, domestic commodities or products. Buy American supports the mission of the Child Nutrition Programs, which is to serve children nutritious meals and support American agriculture. There are limited exceptions to purchase non-domestic foods: 

    • When the food or food product is not produced or manufactured in the U.S. in sufficient and reasonably available quantities of satisfactory quality; or
    • Competitive bids reveal the costs of a U.S. product are significantly higher than the non-domestic product.

    Cost Saving Tips:

    • Plan menus to take advantage of seasonal foods available from local sources;
    • Use cycle menus to forecast food quantities well in advance of need;
    • Provide reasonable estimates of the food quantities needed to give food producers and suppliers sufficient lead time to produce, process, and manufacture the foods in quantities required across the nation.

    School lunch tray

    Resources for Menu Planning:

    • MyPlate, MyState: part of USDA's efforts to support local and regional food systems, galvanize the importance of American agriculture, and connect healthy eating with more than 160,000 farmers and ranchers nationwide selling to local markets.
    • Seasonal Produce Guide: USDA guide identifying different fruits and vegetables available throughout the year due to growing conditions and weather.
    • Geographic Preference in 7 CFR 210.21(g): allows SFAs to apply a geographic preference when procuring unprocessed locally grown or locally raised agricultural products with nonprofit school food service account funds.
    • The Office of Community Food Systems (OCFS): oversees USDA’s Farm to School Program. OCFS helps child nutrition program operators incorporate local foods in the school meal programs.

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