School’s Guide to Purchasing Washington-Grown Food

Are you interested in working with local farmers and ranchers and bringing healthy locally-grown food to your students?

Are there times when you are unsure about how to comply with all the guidelines, rules and regulations?

Then this guide is for you!

The guide clarifies today’s rules about how to apply a geographic preference in school food purchases and help school districts increase their use of Washington-grown food in accordance with rules and regulations at all levels of government. It consists of the main procurement guide and 5 appendices that are organized by  issues a district may face in developing a program.

School's Guide to Purchasing WA Grown Food Cover

Click here to download the guide.


In this guide you will find information about:

  • Regulations governing school food purchases
  • USDA’s Geographic Preference Option
  • Washington State school food purchasing laws and using the Geographic Preference Option
  • A step-by-step chart to purchase Washington grown foods
  • Developing vendor qualifications, specifications and preferences to source Washington-grown
  • Guidance and sample language for Washington-grown purchasing and wellness policies



Washington State Department of Agriculture, Washington Sustainable Food & Farming Network and Washington Environmental Council partnered to develop “A School’s Guide to Purchasing Washington-Grown Food.” The project was part of a Communities Putting Prevention to Work grant made possible by funding from Public Health-Seattle & King County and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Click these links below to download the appendices (PDF): Fruit Bowls and Kids

Resources – Planning Resources – Food Safety & Handling
Resources – Procurement Resources – Government Documents
Resources – School District Policies


For more help in developing your school or district procurement policies, please contact:
Joan Qazi | |  (509) 881-9182