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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Marshall

Geographic preference aka procuring local foods to become easier in child nutrition programs

You may have heard about the latest final rule published in April by USDA called the Child Nutrition Programs: Meal Patterns Consistent With the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. There are a lot of changes for school nutrition programs and some for CACFP and SFSP. One of these changes is the option to expand "geographic preference" when going through the procurement process. The DIRT shares that "Starting July 1, 2024, CNP operators will have two strategies available under the geographic preference option. CNP operators may continue to apply additional points or credit for local unprocessed agricultural products, which we now refer to as a “defined scoring advantage,” or, for the first time, use “local as a specification.” Details about both strategies can be found at: Geographic Preference Expansion Related to the Final Rule" (USDA Farm to School, May 2024, Vol. 10, Issue 11).


USDA Farm to School Program is hosting webinars for state agencies and farm to school partners and child nutrition program operators. This information is relevant to program operators who fill out procurement forms and have to justify purchasing local foods - more than likely this is not applicable to family child care providers or centers who use the micro-purchasing option. The webinar information is copied directly from the DIRT newlsetter below.


As you continue to learn about different elements of the final rule, please lift up any questions or concerns you might have and we can help you find the answers. samantha@ccfproundtable.org.

 

Register Now for Upcoming Webinars on Expanded Geographic Preference

Join the USDA Farm to School Program for two audience-specific, informational webinars in June:

1) Webinar for State agencies on Thursday, June 13, from 3:00-4:00 PM EDT

2) Webinar for farm to school partners and Child Nutrition Program operators on Thursday, June 20, from 2:00-3:00 PM EDT


Webinar 1:

State Agency Webinar on Expanded Geographic Preference in the Final Rule, Child Nutrition Programs: Meal Patterns Consistent With the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

On Thursday, June 13, from 3:00 – 4:00 PM EDT, USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Patrick Leahy Farm to School Team (USDA Farm to School Team) will host a webinar for State agencies on the expanded geographic preference option in the final rule, Child Nutrition Programs: Meal Patterns Consistent With the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The USDA Farm to School Team will provide an overview to help State agencies share the expanded geographic preference option with Child Nutrition Program (CNP) operators.

The registration link for the webinar will be sent to State agencies via PartnerWeb and the FNS Regional Offices.


Webinar 2:

Partners Webinar on Expanded Geographic Preference in the Final Rule, Child Nutrition Programs: Meal Patterns Consistent With the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

On Thursday, June 20, from 2:00 – 3:00 PM EDT, USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Patrick Leahy Farm to School Team (USDA Farm to School Team) will host a webinar for farm to school partners, including Child Nutrition Program (CNP) operators, on the expanded geographic preference option in the final rule, Child Nutrition Programs: Meal Patterns Consistent With the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The final rule includes a small yet significant expansion of the geographic preference provision. Beginning July 1, 2024, the provision will permit CNP operators to use local as a specification when procuring unprocessed agricultural products. The USDA Farm to School Team will provide an overview to help farm to school partners share and learn about the expanded geographic preference option.

 

Join us in October for learning, networking, and fun at the only national conference focused on CACFP! Learn more here. We're also having our 2nd annual Family Child Care Nutrition, Health, and Wellness Summit - open to everyone this year!



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