BUY AMERICAN PROVISION in the National School Lunch Program
Purpose of the Buy American Provision
The Buy American provision requires schools that participate in the school lunch and breakfast programs to purchase domestically grown and processed foods to the maximum extent practicable. The food must be produced and processed in the United States with the final processed product consisting of over 51 percent domestic agricultural commodities.
A “domestic product” is defined as an agricultural commodity or product that is produced or processed in the United States. Products from Guam, American Samoa, Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Northern Mariana Islands are allowable under this provision as territories of the United States.
The Buy American provision (7 CFR Part 210.21(d)) is one of the procurement standards School Food Authorities (SFAs) must comply with when purchasing commercial food products served in the school meals programs. Compliance requires including Buy American in all documented procurement procedures, solicitations, and contracts. Language for Buy American is included in the Augusta County Public Schools Purchasing Manual located under the following link:
Exceptions - Non-Domestic Items
There are limited exceptions to the Buy American Provision which allow for the purchase of foods not meeting the “domestic” standard. These exceptions, as determined by the SFA, are:
- The product is not produced and manufactured in the US in sufficient and reasonably available quantities of a satisfactory quality; or
- Competitive bids reveal the costs of a US product are significantly higher than the non-domestic product.