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H.R. 1066 (116th): American Food for American Schools Act of 2019


The text of the bill below is as of Feb 7, 2019 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.

Summary of this bill

Should schools be able to buy food for school lunches from anywhere in the world, even if it’s cheaper that way? Or should a waiver be required to purchase from any foreign country?

Context

Sacramento Bee investigation and public records request revealed California school districts importing foods such as canned peaches from China for their school lunches, despite having not just one but four canned peach processing centers nearby. The Chinese alternatives were less expensive.

The National School Lunch Program, created in 1946, feeds about 30.4 million children. It was amended in 1998 to include a “Buy America” provision encouraging schools to purchase American foods and products for …


I

116th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1066

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 7, 2019

(for himself and Mr. LaMalfa) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and Labor

A BILL

To amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to require a school food authority to make publicly available any waiver of the Buy American requirement, and for other purposes.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the American Food for American Schools Act of 2019.

2.

Waiver to purchase foreign commodities or products

(a)

In general

Section 12(n)(2) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1760(n)(2)) is amended—

(1)

in subparagraph (A), by striking subparagraph (B) and inserting subparagraphs (B) and (C); and

(2)

by adding at the end the following:

(C)

Waiver

(i)

Waiver request

Except as provided in clause (ii), a school food authority shall request from the Secretary a waiver of subparagraph (A) to purchase foreign commodities or products.

(ii)

Exception

A school food authority may purchase foreign commodities or products without a waiver under clause (i) if such commodities or products are not—

(I)

produced domestically; or

(II)

available domestically.

(iii)

Requirements

The Secretary may not provide a waiver to purchase foreign commodities or products under clause (i) unless—

(I)

such commodities or products—

(aa)

are not produced domestically in sufficient amounts or of satisfactory quality; and

(bb)

if purchased domestically, would be significantly higher in price than such foreign commodities or products; and

(II)

the school enters into an agreement under clause (iv).

(iv)

Agreement

The Secretary may not provide a waiver under clause (i) unless the school food authority requesting such waiver agrees to—

(I)

not later than 30 days after receiving such a waiver, make the waiver publicly available on the website of the school food authority; and

(II)

not less than once each school year, email a notification of all waivers to parents or guardians of students who will be served the foreign commodity or product purchased pursuant to any such waivers.

.

(b)

Definition of foreign commodity

Section 12(n)(1) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1760(n)(1)) is amended to read as follows:

(1)

Definitions

In this subsection:

(A)

Domestic commodity or product

The term domestic commodity or product means—

(i)

an agricultural commodity that is produced in the United States; and

(ii)

a food product that is processed in the United States substantially using agricultural commodities that are produced in the United States.

(B)

Foreign commodity or product

The term foreign commodity or product means a commodity or product other than a domestic commodity or product.

.

(c)

Conforming amendments

Section 12(n) of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. 1760(n)) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (3), by striking Paragraph (2)(A) and inserting Subparagraphs (A) and (C) of paragraph (2); and

(2)

in paragraph (4), by striking Paragraph (2)(A) and inserting Subparagraphs (A) and (C) of paragraph (2).

(d)

Rule of construction

Nothing in this Act or the amendments by this Act shall effect the requirements under section 4207 of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Public Law 115–334).