For New Child Nutrition Directors
BUY AMERICAN & MEAL PATTERN
A Publication of ESC Region 11 Child Nutrition
The William F. Goodling Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act of 1998 requires school food authorities to purchase, to the maximum extent practicable, domestic commodity or product. Domestic commodity or product is defined as an agricultural commodity that is produced in the United States and a food product that is processed in the United States using substantial agricultural commodities that are produced in the United States.
For foods that are unprocessed, the agricultural commodities must be domestic, and for foods that are processed, they must be processed domestically using domestic agricultural food components that are comprised of over 51% domestically grown items, by weight or volume. Note foods and food products of Guam, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands are considered domestic.
SHOPPING THE RIGHT WAY
Buy American applies to all FOOD purchases made with school nutrition program (SNP) funds. This provision requires contracting entities (CEs) and third parties, acting on behalf of CEs, to purchase domestically grown and processed food to the maximum extent possible. The CE must have a Buy American provision in all food bids.
Note: The Buy American provision does not apply to spices, or non-food items.
CEs may use local preference to assist them in purchasing food grown in the United States. See the Administrator’s Reference Manual (ARM), Section 17, Procurement for additional information on local preference.
Q: Can a product made from a U.S. agricultural product (but manufactured in another country) be purchased from the nonprofit school food service account absent an exception?
A: No. A domestic commodity or product is one that is produced and processed in the U.S. substantially using agricultural commodities that are produced in the U.S. This means that the product must be processed entirely in the U.S. and substantially use domestic agricultural commodities. A large number of items received by schools state on the label that they are “packed” in the U.S. Non-domestic foods packed in the U.S. or non-domestic foods in packaging produced in the U.S. do not meet the Buy American requirements.
Q: What are the exceptions to the Buy American Rule?
A:These exceptions, to be determined by the school food authority (SFA), are:
- the product is not produced or manufactured in the U.S. in sufficient and reasonably available quantities of a satisfactory quality; or
- competitive bids reveal the costs of U.S. product are significantly higher than the nondomestic product.
Q: Does the Buy American provision apply to entities that purchase on behalf of an SFA, such as a purchasing cooperative or a food service management company (FSMC)?
A: Yes. SFAs must ensure that all agricultural commodity or food products procured using funds from the nonprofit school food service account comply with the Buy American provision.
Q: How can SFAs comply with the requirement to retain records, which should include documentation of exceptions in adhering to the Buy American provision?
A: SFAs may document exceptions by maintaining records of communications between them and their food supplier; this may include emails, documentation of telephone communications, etc. The documentation must be maintained for review by the state agency during procurement reviews of local agency procurement practices. One resource SFAs and state agencies may use in order to document exceptions is the market news reports available from AMS. AMS provides free, unbiased price and sales information on farm commodities at: https://marketnews.usda.gov/mnp/fv-report-config-step1?type=termPrice. Using this website, SFAs and state agencies can find third-party verification of cost and availability of domestic and nondomestic foods. Further, SFAs may use the information to communicate alternatives with food suppliers and document purchase decisions.
If an exception is utilized, you must keep documentation to justify the use of the exception:
• Cost of domestic vs. nondomestic
• Quality/quantity of domestic are not available
The request must include:
• Price of the domestic food alternative substitute(s); and
• Availability of domestic alternative substitute(s) (quantity)
• Reason for exception - limited/lack of availability or price (include price): Price of the domestic food product; and price of the non-domestic product that meets the required specification of the domestic product
- All students, at any grade level, must select at least three items
- Must offer three components: Grain, Milk, Fruit/Vegetable
- Must offer at least four items
- Students must take at least 1/2 cup of fruit/vegetable
- Items are counted by serving, one component chosen could count as more than 1 item (as determined by the menu planner). For example, a 2 oz. muffin would count as 2 items
- Visit Making it Count to learn more about breakfast OVS and to practice what you learned.
- SECTION 7 ARM Breakfast
- Must offer all 5 components: Grain, Meat/Meat alternate, Milk, Fruit, and Vegetable
- All students must take three out of five components
- One must be at least 1/2 cup of fruit or vegetable
- Must offer a choice of milk
- Visit Making it Count to learn more about lunch OVS and to practice what you learned.
- Section 8 Lunch
In case you missed it:
8-10 Food Safety for Child Nutrition (Servsafe)
14 The Dispatch: Meal Pattern & Buy American
20-31 ESC Winter Break
13 The Monthly Rewind (virtual) - This will include USDA Foods Basics for new CN directors
14 The Dispatch: Food cost and USDA foods
25 USDA Foods
New Director's Academy Listserv 21-22
Sheet1 Name,District,Email,Phone number Richard Rainey,Poolville,email@example.com,8177213858 Kara Smith,Graford,firstname.lastname@example.org,682-288-3415 Katrina Winfrey,Decatur ,email@example.com,940-393-7171 Tina McCormick,Venus,firstname.lastname@example.org,817-907-0561 Kathy Walters,...
This newsletter is funded by the USDA/TDA. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.