Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) administers eight USDA programs serving 88 million meals to students in 2,149 Washington State schools during the 2021 – 2022 school year. As a recipient of Local Food for Schools funding, we aim to increase the nutrition profile of school meals, decrease the production costs of school meals for schools participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), through the purchase of Washington grown, raised and harvested foods.
OSPI will purchase Washington grown agricultural products through distributors, farmers, ranchers, and fishers, to distribute to schools participating in the NSLP program. Priority will go to socially disadvantaged producers as well as distributors who identify as and/ or source from socially disadvantaged producers. OSPI will procure dry and frozen foods predetermined to be desirable by schools and available locally, including frozen fruits, vegetables, beef, and fish, as well as whole grain flours, dried pulses, and legumes.
The food will be stored and distributed to school districts using our existing USDA Food Distribution Program (FDP), distribution system for the 2023 – 2024 school year. The School Food Authorities (SFA) will be provided with a budget based on the number of meals served in the previous school year and the quantity of food.
SFAs will be able to select food that meets their school community’s needs. Nutritious Washington grown foods will be incorporated into menus nourishing their students. Funding will not only feed our state’s youth, but will benefit Washington farmers, ranchers, fishers, and regional distributors through expanded markets