How foods are purchased:
All foods are purchased through a competitive bidding process. If commodity products are going to be further processed, the cost of processing is part of the bid process. (Processing is used to convert products into a form that can be utilized in schools. One example is commodity eggs are processed into such items as French toast, egg patties and omelets to be served as part of the National School Breakfast Program.) Bids are conducted through the CCSD Purchasing Department.
Specification guidelines for products include:
Lower in fat and saturated fat
Higher in fiber and whole grains
Fresh fruits and vegetables
Cobb County cafeterias serve fresh fruits and vegetables every day:
Cobb County incorporates fresh produce into the school menus everyday. Lunch always includes a fresh fruit option. Several entree salad choices as well as side salads are featured each day. During last school year (08-09) our cafeterias used an average of 11,612 pounds of fresh produce every day. We are using even more fresh produce this school year. Cafeterias are using an average of 12,115 pounds of fresh produce every day. This is a 4.2% increase between last school year and this school year.
CCSD purchases local produce from
our produce vendor based on availability
of local produce. Local produce is generally considered to be grown in Georgia and states that border Georgia.
Produce which is grown in Georgia. Available items will vary according to the season. Each month we will feature a Georgia grown fruit or vegetable in our cafeterias.
Milk served in our schools is produced on dairy farms located in Georgia.
What are USDA commodities:
Commodities are foods that are purchased by USDA in bulk from surplus agricultural products. USDA conducts a bid for these surplus items and decides whether to purchase these products based on the price. Schools participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) get an allocation of funds from the state that can be used to purchase USDA commodities. The USDA commodity program accounts for about 15-20% of food served in the NSLP according to the School Nutrition Association. Schools typically use most of their commodity dollars to purchase the most expensive part of the menu, items like meat and cheese.
Over the past two decades, USDA has reduced the amounts of fat, sugar and sodium in commodities, while maintaining quality and acceptability for students. Beef is 85% lean and low fat cheese is available. Canned fruits are packed in juice, light syrup, extra light syrup or water.