Recipient agencies (RAs) are to use commodity foods for the preparation of reimbursable meals. Donated foods may be used to prepare meals served under any other meal service activity operated by the recipient agency (RA) under the non-profit food service account. These would be things like the school breakfast program, a la carte sales, and meals and snacks in residential child care institutions.
Commodity foods received under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) may be used for training students in home economics, nutrition, food preparation and child care. Only type “B” food products can be used for training. The prepared end products of training courses cannot be sold. They must be used either in the classes or in the school lunch, school breakfast or after school snack programs.
Commodity foods used for training are not replaced. School food authorities should ensure the use of commodities in training courses does not cause a shortage in their school lunch program.
When commodities are used for training, the perpetual inventory sheet for those items will be updated showing quantities used.
Commodity foods may not be sold, traded or exchanged. They may be used in workshops or for demonstration purposes after getting approval from the Commodity Distribution Unit (CDU).
Schools may use commodity foods in their a la carte food service and adult meals served during the regularly scheduled breakfast and lunch periods if:
- these same foods are served at some time during the year as part of a reimbursable meal, and
- money received from selling these foods goes into the RA’s nonprofit food service account
Recipient agencies (RAs) may also sell the packaging of donated foods as long as the money received from the sale goes into the recipient agencies (RAs) nonprofit food service account.
The questions below show how USDA regulations work.
Q: Can a school sell extra hamburgers on the a la carte line?
A: Yes, this is an appropriate use of commodity foods.
Q: Can a school sell sweet rolls made with bonus flour in the teacher’s lounge?
A: No, this is not a meal service activity covered under the non-profit school food service account.
Q: Can a school use commodity foods to prepare banquets for school or non-school functions such as sports banquets, PTA meetings, etc.?
A: No, these activities are not covered under the non-profit school food service account.
Q: Can a school bake and sell cookies using commodity foods?
A: Yes, the cookies can be sold in the a la carte line but not as a general-purpose fundraiser.