Procurement Resources

Here are some great materials from outside organizations on the topic of local food procurement. All of these resources have been vetted and provide useful information on how to add local foods into school food purchases.

Farm to School Resources

  • ISBE Farm to Child Nutrition Programs (F2CNP)
    • This is the ISBE Farm to Institution page featuring Local Food in Schools (LFS) information, local procurement methods for NSLP and NSB, as well as, multiple resource links for Farm to School.
  • USDA Local Food Procurement Guide
    • This is specific to Illinois, and goes over the different types of bidding strategies and ways to bring local vendors into your current distribution service
  • Local Procurement Decision Tree
    • Includes information on the federal micro purchase threshold (a way to make small purchases without a bid) and how to decide whether to use informal or formal procurement methods
  • Farm to Summer
    • If you operate a summer meal site through SFSP, this is information on how to incorporate local food purchases into your program
  • Farm to School Resource Guide
    • Contains an array of resources from planning to sustaining your farm to school program, including guides on finding and buying local foods.

USDA Farm to School Factsheets

Adding “Local” to Bid Language

Adding language for local and regional sourcing to bids for broadline distributors and food service management companies will help your district to obtain locally sourced foods for the menu. Here are resources to adjust your bid language and help you move forward!

  • The Common Market: Advancing School Food Procurement Toolkit
    • Advancing School Food Procurement: Driving Values-Based Purchasing through Competitive Solicitations” compiles existing values-based food solicitations from across the U.S. and lifts up best practices and insights from school food leaders, including school nutrition directors, food service management company representatives, USDA farm to school staff, and more.
  • Institute of Child Nutrition Procuring Local Foods for Child Nutrition Programs Toolkit
    • The guide highlights a variety of mechanisms schools can use to purchase local products while staying in accordance with federal procurement regulations, how to target local foods when conducting both formal and informal procurements, use the Geographic Preference option, and use the USDA Foods and DoD Fresh Programs to enhance local purchasing. 

Other Resources