Ohio United States Department of Agriculture Foods Program

The Ohio United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foods Program distributes USDA donated food to schools participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and/or the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). USDA foods are staples -- such as meats, cheese, fruits and vegetables -- distributed to eligible nutrition programs within U.S. schools and agencies. These foods are intended to account for no more than approximately 20 percent of a school district’s total school lunch budget.

How USDA Foods are Distributed

The Ohio USDA Foods Program distributes USDA foods to participating schools and/or agencies based on their "entitlement." Entitlement dollars are earned by each program participant (i.e., school district) in accordance with USDA guidelines, and are determined and allocated by the number of student lunches served in the previous year multiplied by the USDA foods reimbursement rate.

Periodically, the USDA and/or the Ohio USDA Foods Program distribute certain USDA foods as a "bonus" to participating schools on a fair-share basis. Bonus USDA foods, offered as they become available through agricultural surpluses and market conditions, do not count against a state’s regular entitlement dollars.

The Ohio USDA Foods Program receives guidance from the USDA Foods Program Advisory Committee, which meets three (3) times a year to advise staff on specific Ohio USDA Foods Program directions, and to review new and existing USDA food offerings and policies. To learn more about the USDA Foods Program Advisory Committee, click here.

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Last Modified: 4/25/2014 2:40:36 PM