The 2008 Farm Bill amended the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to direct that the Secretary of Agriculture encourage institutions operating child nutrition programs to purchase unprocessed locally grown and locally raised agricultural products. Effective Oct. 1, 2008, institutions receiving funds through the child nutrition programs may apply an optional geographic preference in the procurement of unprocessed locally grown or locally raised agricultural products.
This provision applies to institutions in all of the child nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, Special Milk Program for Children, Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program, as well as to purchases made for these programs by the Department of Defense Fresh Program. The provision also applies to state agencies making purchases on behalf of any of the aforementioned child nutrition programs. The purpose of this rule is to finalize the geographic preference option in child nutrition programs.