In November 2005, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) issued Policy Memorandum FD-049 to assist school food authorities (SFAs) in providing healthier options and a wider variety of cheese products for students. The policy memorandum permits processors to substitute cheese donated by the Department of Agriculture (i.e., USDA cheese) with other varieties of cheese produced for the commercial market.
The purpose of this policy memorandum is to clarify a state distributing agency's (SDA) responsibilities regarding (1) the approval of end products for processing; and (2) monitoring of sales of such end products to school food authorities (SF A) in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) by reviewing a processor's monthly performance report.
In accordance with 7 CFR 250.30(1), a processor may. in most cases, substitute Department of Agriculture (USDA) donated foods with commercially purchased foods of U.S. origin, and of equal or better quality in all USDA purchase specifications than the donated food. The substitution option permits processors to conduct their business efficiently and provide finished end products to school food authorities (SFAs) and other recipient agencies in a timely manner.
In this policy memorandum, we clarify that the SFA may, in some cases, include bids for procurement of end products in its solicitation for procurement of commercial food products from commercial distributors, rather than conduct two separate solicitations. This policy memorandum also clarifies the requirements, and the parties responsible for ensuring compliance with requirements, in exercising such option.