Nutrition standards for the USDA’s National School Lunch Program were updated in 2012, with changes requiring more fruit and vegetables. Most of the foods served in school meals come from commercial sources, but USDA also offers foods to schools in a program called USDA Foods. In this program, schools acquire foods procured by USDA using entitlement funds assigned to each State.
This report examines changes in food choices in the USDA Foods program during 2006–17 in response to revised nutrition standards. The report finds that (nationally) the value of fresh fruits and vegetables ordered from USDA Foods and distributed by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) rose from 5 to 15 percent of the value of all USDA Foods orders. The value of fruits ordered through USDA Foods -mainly canned and frozen- rose from 9 to 15 percent of the value of USDA Foods orders during 2012–17.