The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is charged with administering the Food Distribution Program (FDP). Through the FDP, USDA purchases foods through direct appropriations from Congress, and under surplus-removal and price-support activities. These USDA Foods are offered to participants of different government supported programs, such as the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), and the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).
The 100% American-grown foods are distributed to State Agencies (SAs) for use by School Food Authorities (SFA) participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). In Wisconsin, the NSLP USDA Foods Program is administered by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI), also referred to as the State Distributing Agency (SDA). USDA gives Wisconsin an annual entitlement value (in dollars) to spend on USDA Foods. SFAs, or Recipient Agencies (RAs) receive their portion of entitlement value (in dollars) to spend on USDA Foods. See entitlement spending options by program below.
On average, USDA Foods make up 15 to 20 percent of the product served at participating SFAs/RAs in the form of beef, pork, fish, poultry, dairy, fruits, vegetables, and grain. Every dollar’s worth of USDA Foods used in a school menu frees up money that would otherwise be spent on commercial food purchases.
To learn more, review the USDA Foods: A Food Distribution Program In a Nutshell and visit each of the pages below. Interested in participating? Visit the Join USDA Foods webpage.
The DPI assists with the ordering, storage, and distribution of USDA Foods for these programs below.