Methods of Procurement
The appropriate procurement method to use depends on the dollar amount of the expected purchase. School food service staff should evaluate what goods or services are needed and for how long, and determine which procurement method to use based on the estimated dollar value of the purchase. All procurement must be conducted in a manner that maximizes free and open competition.
- For example, school food service staff should evaluate their menus to determine what food products will be needed throughout the school year, and about how much of each product will be ordered. Using that information, the school food service staff would be able to estimate the total cost of their food products for the school year, and make a decision on what procurement method to use to purchase them.
- Tip: For frequent purchases made to the same vendor (example: your prime vendor for food), the school food service staff should estimate the total dollar value of the whole school year, not each individual purchase. This is because the contract length is typically the school year, not week to week. Other purchases that are a one-time purchase or a specific duration (example, three months) may be evaluated differently.