The initial stage in the strategic procurement plan of produce for school lunches must start with performing a needs analysis. To find the correct produce needs for the lunches, the school will need to check the current usage by lunch calendar, student count of who brings lunch and who eats in school.
Upon review of the information, this will give the school an opportunity to determine if they would like to adopt a new school menu or change it now that they are finding new produce.
Since the produce has been lacking, they may want to offer a more health-conscious menu including more seasonal fruits and vegetables. This will assist in finding the proper vendors and include more local sources. This information is also helpful in creating a budget for each school lunch period.
After the school has had a chance to determine the type of lunch program they would like to provide to the students, the next stage in the plan is to locate one or more vendors to get the proper produce.
If the school decides to start offering healthier options requiring more fruits and vegetables, then the vendors they need to look at should be able to provide local, organic and/or non-gmo produce to the school.
The vendor will need to be able to meet the demands of the lunch program without disruption, they should be financially stable and be willing to have a school representative visit any local farms to ensure standards are valid.
Any food given to the students should be validated as organic and/or non-gmo, since this will affect the student’s wellbeing.