This bill would require school food authorities (SFAs) to request a waiver from the Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) to purchase foreign commodities or products for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Waivers could only be granted if: 1) domestic commodities or products aren’t produced in sufficient amounts or of satisfactory quality; 2) domestic commodities or products would be significantly higher in price; and 3) the SFA agrees to make the waiver publicly available on its website and email a notification to parents or guardians of students who will be served the foreign commodity or product.
Under current law, Buy American provisions require SFAs to buy domestic commodities or products for the NSLP to the maximum extent possible. There are limited exceptions permitting the purchase of foreign products or commodities if using domestic products isn’t truly practicable, but there is no requirement to request a waiver — the SFA only needs to keep documentation justifying the exception.