Resource | Policy Memos | FD-119
Soliciting Bids from Commercial Distributors for End Products

The procurement of goods and services in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) must be conducted in a manner that ensures free and open competition, in accordance with Federal regulations under 7 CFR Part 3016 or 7 CFR Part 3019, as applicable, and must also comply with procurement requirements in 7 CFR 210.21. This is true for procurement of both commercial food products and end products produced through the further processing of USDA donated foods (hereinafter referred to as "end products"). In most cases, school food authorities (SFAs) solicit bids for procurement of commercial food products from commercial distributors and, in a separate solicitation, solicit bids for procurement of end products from processors, even when identical food products are sold commercially through distributors. 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. Although the memorandum focuses on SFA procurements in NSLP, it is also applicable to procurements conducted by recipient agencies in other child nutrition programs.