FDP National School Lunch
The National School Lunch Program provides cash and commodity assistance to assist schools in providing nutritious lunches to school children. From its inception in 1946, the school lunch program has been making nutritious school meals available to school children for more than 60 years.
USDA provides States with commodities for use in preparing school lunches. The commodity subsidy is based on a “rate per meal” concept similar to that used for cash assistance.
Every dollar’s worth of donated commodities used in a school menu frees up money that a school would otherwise have to spend on food purchases. As school districts face ever tightening budgets, commodities have become a valuable resource to keep local food service budgets in the black. On an average day, commodities make up about 15 to 20 percent of the product served on the school lunch line.
Depending on market conditions, as many as 40 to 60 different commodities may be supplied to participants during the year. The commodities may be frozen, canned, fresh, or dry and include meats, poultry, vegetables, fruits, grains, and dairy products.
Each State’s commodity entitlement is supplemented by donations of “bonus” commodities purchased by USDA. Bonus products are in addition to those received as part of the State’s entitlement and are offered to States throughout the year on a fair-share basis. Bonus purchases are made through USDA’s price support and surplus removal programs in order to help stabilize and support U.S. agricultural markets. Because of the nature of agricultural markets, the type and quantity of bonus commodities purchased each year cannot be predicted in advance.
Files and Links
FDP Administrative Handbook
Delivery Evaluation Form
USDA - Foods Complaint Form
Storage Facility Review Form
FFAVORS Web Ordering System
FDP Policy Bulletins
USDA - Food Fact Sheets
USDA - Foods Alert System
Best If Used By Dates
USDA - Schools/CN Commodity Programs
USDA - Commodity Food Network
American Commodity Distribution Association