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Finding, Buying and Serving Local Food - Introduction to Procurement

Resource type

In 2014, USDA's Farm to School Program hosted a 12-part webinar series to showcase 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.

In this webinar, the first of the series, Christina Conell and Maggie Gosselin from USDA's Food and Nutrition Service, covered basic procurement fundamentals relevant to the federal child nutrition programs. Topics include informal and formal procurement methods and maintaining competition.

Important Update

*On Oct. 30, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service published the Memorandum, SP20 CACFP07 SFSP06-2019 “Revised, Federal Micro-Purchase and Simplified Acquisition Thresholds.” This memorandum supersedes SP01 CACFP01 SFSP01-2013. The thresholds under federal financial assistance awards are increased as follows: the federal micro-purchase threshold increased from $3,500 to $10,000 and the federal simplified acquisition threshold (formerly known as the federal small purchase threshold) increased from $150,000 to $250,000. This guidance applies to all federal micro-purchase threshold and federal simplified acquisition threshold figures referenced throughout the following documents. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is in the process of updating related documents and recordings with this information. For questions, please reach out to

webinar cover slideIntroduction to Procurement
webinar cover slideConducting a Local Procurement Baseline Assessment
webinar cover slideFinding Local Producers
webinar cover slideUsing the Informal Procurement Method
webinar cover slideUsing the Specifications, Requirements and Evaluation Criteria to Target Local Products
webinar cover slideWorking with Distributors
webinar cover slideUsing a Forward Contract
webinar cover slideIntroduction to Geographic Preference
webinar cover slideUsing Geographic Preference
webinar cover slideUsing USDA Foods as Resource to Purchase Local
webinar cover slideUsing DOD Fresh to Purchase Local
webinar cover slideTying It All Together and Digging In
Page updated: November 17, 2023