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Study of School Food Authority Procurement Practices

Resource type
Research type
Assessing/Improving Operations
Resource materials
PDF Icon Summary (184.08 KB)
PDF Icon Full Report (1.53 MB)
PDF Icon Appendix (1.08 MB)

The Study of School Food Authority (SFA) Procurement Practices is the first study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service to comprehensively describe and assess the decision-making process regarding school food procurement practices at the SFA level. 

The research objectives were to: 

  1. Describe how SFAs develop and publish solicitations, evaluate and award contracts, and monitor contractor performance for all school food purchases, 
  2. Describe procedures and recordkeeping practices used by SFAs with their food service management company (FSMC) contracts, 
  3. Describe the forms of group purchasing efforts used to purchase goods and services, 
  4. Assess the availability of State agency-provided technical assistance and training resources, and
  5. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of SFAs to develop solicitation and contract documents, evaluate bids/responses, negotiate terms and conditions, and conduct contract oversight.

The sample was a subset of the 1,679 SFAs that participated in the Child Nutrition Program Operations Study II (CN-OPS-II), which included a module on SFA procurement practices in school year (SY) 2016–17. Findings are based on the perceptions and experiences of the SFA and they may not reflect actual regulations and policies; this study was not an audit. 

Page updated: October 04, 2023