Community Food Systems

FNS Policy Memos

Last Published: 03/13/2014

The following links will provide you with information on FNS policy related to local purchasing and Farm to School:

General Procurement 

  • Federal Small Purchase Threshold: SP01-2013, CACFP01-2013, SFSP01-2013  This memo announces that the small purchase threshold has been raised from $100,000 to $150,000.  
  • Procurement Questions: Memorandum SP 02-2010  Memorandum 02-2010 provides frequently asked Q&As relevant to local purchasing.  
  • Simplified Acquisition Threshold: Memorandum CACFP/SFSP 09-2008  The purpose of this memorandum is to extend the prevailing simplified acquisition threshold, commonly referred to as the small purchase threshold, to the Child and Adult Care (CACFP) and Summer Food Service (SFSP) Programs.  
  • Final Rule, Procurement Requirements for the National School Lunch,School Breakfast and Special Milk Programs: Memorandum SP 09-2008  Memorandum 09-2008 highlights the key provisions of the final procurement rule published in 2007, and emphasizes the responsibilities State agencies have in ensuring compliance with these provisions and with contract enforcement and oversight. 

Geographic Preference

  • Procurement Geographic Preference Q&As Part II: SP03-2012, CACFP -2013, SFSP -2013  This new memo provides a list of the types of products to which a geographic preference can be applied, along with information about how to define local in general, as well as specific information about milk, meat and seafood. In addition, this new memo also provides helpful information about supporting small farmers, forward contracting, and CSA model contracts. Finally, the memo clarifies the relationship between federal and state rules and regulations regarding local purchases for school meal programs.  
  • --Procurement Geographic Preference Q&As: Memorandum SP 18-2011  Memorandum 18-2011 provides answers to common questions on the application of the geographic preference option in procurement of unprocessed locally grown or locally raised agricultural  --Geographic Preference for the Procurement of Unprocessed Agricultural Products in the Child Nutrition Programs: Memorandum SP 08-2010  Memorandum 08-02010 provides an update to the definition of what is considered “unprocessed” for the purposes of applying the optional geographic preference for procurement in the Child Nutrition Programs.  
  • Applying Geographic Preferences in Procurements for the Child Nutrition Programs: Memorandum SP 01-2010  Memorandum 01-2010 updates and revises Memoranda SP 30-2008 Applying Geographic Preferences in Procurements for the Child Nutrition Programs, SP 08-2009 Procurement Questions, and SP 28-2009 Procurement Questions, regarding schoolfood authorities’ (SFAs) and other institutions’ application of a geographic preference in procurements for the Child Nutrition Programs. 

School Gardens

  • School Garden Q&As: Memorandum SP 32-2009  Memorandum 32-2009 provides frequently asked questions regarding the operation of a school garden. 

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP)

  • Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP): Allocation of Funds for School Year (SY) 2010/11: Memorandum SP 18-2010  Memorandum 18-2010 provides funding allocation amounts for all Stateagencies (SAs) for SY 2010/2011; to provide information on funding requirements and deadlines; and to serve as a reminder of important program requirements.  
  • Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) Targeted School Selection and Outreach Process: Memorandum SP 10-2010  Memorandum 10-2010 provides clarification on the statutory requirements for selecting schools and reiterates information from the September 29, 2009 FFVP webinar on the targeting and outreach process that States must conduct in order to select schools.