School Food Procurement

Categories: School Food Institute
Includes lifetime access

Course Overview

Course Description

With over 30 million school lunches served every day, school food is big business. In School Food Procurement, we’ll discuss why procurement is so important in school food, and how to align your procurement practices with the mission and vision of your school meal program. We’ll look at how to use your menus to project procurement needs and how to write an effective Request for Proposal (RFP) to find the right vendor for your school food program. We’ll discuss the options for school food vendors and how to use USDA Foods, prime vendors, local purveyors and farmers to procure fresh, healthy, and local food for a scratch-cook operation. Throughout this course, you’ll learn procurement strategies that allow you to have more control over your ingredients and serve the highest quality food to your students.

Learning Outcomes

  • Align your procurement practices with your mission, vision and wellness policy.
  • Identify strategies for selecting and purchasing ingredients that balance financial considerations with your program values.
  • Utilize menu forecasting tools to project procurement needs.
  • Understand the federal guidelines for procurement and the formal and informal processes for procuring food for school meal programs.
  • Develop a Request for Proposal (RFP) that supports scratch-cooking and reflects your mission, vision and wellness policy.
  • Identify strategies for maximizing USDA Foods and prime vendor purchases to support scratch-cooking and control food costs.
  • Develop relationships with local and regional vendors and farmers to increase local foods in your program.


  • 2400
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