USDA Resources

12 part USDA Webinar Series: this series showcases the variety of ways school districts can purchase local foods. The series starts with an introduction to basic procurement principles, and then walks participants through strategies and tactics for buying local foods.


Local Food Procurement Decision Tree: This fact sheet features the various paths a school can take to bring local foods into the cafeteria with your next food purchase. While federal rules prohibit schools from using "local" as a required product specification in their formal solicitations, there are many other ways to focus purchases on local food products. This chart presents several options for including your desire for local foods in the procurement process.



Geographic Preference Fact Sheet: There are many ways for schools to buy local products for use in federal school meals programs (see USDA’s 10 Facts About Local Food in School Cafeterias). While using geographic preference is not the only option for local food procurement, it is a powerful tool and particularly useful in formal solicitations where respondents are ranked and scored.  This fact sheet summarizes geographic preference and provides examples of how to use it to purchase local foods.