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Selling Food to USDA

USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is the agency responsible for procuring the USDA Foods that are distributed through four Food and Nutrition Service programs: the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), and USDA Foods in Schools. The following links provide information for vendors interested in participating in the USDA Foods program.

  • Selling Food to USDA – This site provides up-to-date information on all AMS procurements including solicitations and product specifications.
  • How to Become a Vendor – Find details on the steps to apply to become a USDA Foods vendor. This site also includes qualified bidders lists outlining which vendors are already approved to bid on which USDA Foods product(s).

If your product is not yet being purchased by USDA, please review the following to determine if your product meets the minimum criteria for consideration.

Foods Commonly Purchased

The USDA Foods Available Lists outline the USDA Foods that are available or expected to be purchased through each program. The lists are subject to change based on market availability.

USDA Foods Processing

The USDA Foods in Schools program supports domestic nutrition programs and American agricultural producers through purchases of 100% American-grown and -produced foods for use by schools and institutions. USDA Foods are available to child nutrition programs in three ways: direct delivery, USDA Foods processing, and the USDA DoD Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program.

USDA Foods processing allows state distributing agencies and eligible recipient agencies, such as school districts, to contract with commercial food processors to convert raw bulk USDA Foods into more convenient, ready-to-use end products. USDA Foods processing is governed by regulations contained in the Code of Federal Regulations at Title 7, Part 250, Subpart C.

National Processing Agreement

Below is guidance and information for state distributing agencies, eligible recipient agencies, and commercial processors regarding the review and approval of a USDA national processing agreement (NPA).

Current USDA Foods processors operating under an NPA can find contact for more information.

In-State Processing Agreement

In addition to multi-state processors who have national processing agreements, USDA Foods processing includes in-state processors who are based in and operate exclusively within the state and have an agreement with their state distributing agency. For more information, please contact your state distributing agency.

Additional Resources

Page updated: June 12, 2024