THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT / THE UNIVERSITY OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK / ALBANY, NY 12234
Office of P-20 Education Policy
The Child Nutrition Program Office is aware that School Food Authorities (SFAs) may be experiencing challenges regarding procuring distributors and receiving bid responses in preparation for the 2021-2022 school year, and that this causes great concern about the ability to acquire needed items.
This guidance outlines options available to SFAs encountering these difficulties.
Emergency Noncompetitive Procurements
SFAs may utilize this provision if they determine that current emergency circumstances exist. When there are supply chain disruptions from school closures or other COVID-19 impacts, this provision in federal regulations allows SFAs to use a noncompetitive solicitation, from one or more sources, to ensure students continue to receive meals.
Office of General Services (OGS) Centralized Contracts
Meal Pattern Waiver
- the dietary Specification for Sodium;
- that all grains offered must be whole-grain rich;
- that for pre-schoolers, at least one serving per day, across all eating occasions, must be whole grain-rich;
- to offer a variety of vegetables from the vegetable subgroups;
- to offer a variety (at least two different options) of fluid milk;
- that low-fat milk must be unflavored; and
- to plan menus and offer food components for specified age/grade groups.
Small Purchases and Micro-Purchases
SFAs may utilize the small purchase and the micro-purchase methods of procurement throughout the school year when needed, as appropriate. These methods can be used to make informal purchases from vendors or may be used if secondary purchases are needed for items not included or bid on through formal procurement methods.
Please contact your Child Nutrition Program Representative for specific questions or concerns regarding situations of supply chain issues and resolve. As a reminder, Buy American requirements remain applicable to all purchases pertaining to Child Nutrition Program meals and SFAs are required to maintain documentation of all procurement.
Tips For Navigating Supply Chain Disruptions: No Kid Hungry
Supply Chain Disruption in School Cafeterias: School Nutrition Association
**Planning for a Dynamic School Environment: USDA FNS