The School Nutrition Program (SNP) is a complex business operation. Schools across the nation strive to provide nutritious, tasty, quality meals to students while being cost effective. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is dedicated to ensuring successful procurement by looking at principles and practices at the state agency (SA) and School Food Authority (SFA). Procurement is a multi-step process for obtaining goods, products, and/or service at the best possible price. Procurement in SNPs includes, but is not limited to, food products, software, equipment, Food Service Management Companies (FSMCs), local foods, paper products etc.
Proper planning before procuring a good or service is essential in order to obtain the high-quality products and services needed at the most affordable price. Consider the following steps when starting the procurement process in your district:
Procurement is a process to make sure you are getting the best use of your federal dollars – treat it just as you would for shopping for yourself at home. Don’t see it as a barrier – look into your procurement procedures, figure out what is best for you and reach out to your colleagues!
Kerri Link, MS, RD, SNS, Colorado Department of Education
E-Code of Federal Regulations on Procurement for SFA’s:
United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (2009). Reminder: Procurement requirements for the national school lunch, school breakfast and special milk programs.
United States Department of Agriculture (2011). USDA food facts.