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Community Food Systems


Last Published: 12/18/2013

Below are a few USDA resources on procurement and the geographic preference option. For more resources on procurement related to Farm to School, visit USDA’s Farm to School policy webpage.

  • USDA Online Procurement Training
    Now open to the public, this free online procurement training was developed by USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service to help State agencies understand the procurement requirements of the Child Nutrition Programs. The training is provided via that National Food Service Management Institute. School food service professionals are able to obtain continuing education credits for their participation in the training. 
  • Geographic Preference Q&As: Memorandum SP 18-2011
    Issued on February 1, 2011, memorandum SP18-2011 provides answers to common questions on the application of the geographic preference option in the procurement of unprocessed locally grown or raised agricultural products in the Child Nutrition Programs.
  • Local Foods Procurement Worksheet
    This worksheet, from Massachusetts Department of Agriculture, gives tips for school districts procuring local agriculture and should be used in the forecasting period of the procurement process (i.e., before a solicitation is created) to gather and provide information from/to farmers or distributors.
  • USDA Quality Standards
    USDA quality standards are based on measurable attributes that describe the value and utility of the product. Standards for each product describe the entire range of quality for a product, and the number of grades varies by commodity.