Indiana ESC School Food Co-op

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School food service procurement can be a confusing and daunting task for even the most organized and talented school food service directors. Requirements can change and take considerable time to learn and implement. By joining forces with our Indiana Educational Service Center Food Procurement Consortium, food procurement is simplified by participating with a bid administrator who understands the requirements for USDA food service procurement. This also includes the legal aspects to meet the Indiana State Board of Accounts requirements. By participating in our consortium, we can help reduce the burden procurement places on your staff by assuring all of the requirements are met on behalf of each participating district.

The objective of the Educational Service Center Food Procurement Consortium is to recognize that each member has a voice in the procurement process. In this way, each district is able to learn and take ownership of the bid process from start to finish. From food product selection that involves tasting and evaluating USDA Commodities and other products, to evaluation of bid submissions, every participating district is a valued team member. Our consortium does not rely on the opinions and evaluations of a small group of board of directors or a small evaluation committee. Each participating district is responsible for their evaluation and final award.

We are approved by the Indiana Department of Education Nutrition Department as a School Food Authority Cooperative!

The Educational Service Center Food Procurement Consortium is comprised of members from 5 Indiana Educational Service Centers: Region 4/East Central Educational Service Center, Region 5/Wabash Valley Education Center, Region 6/Northwest Educational Service Center, Region 7/Northern Indiana Educational Services Center, and Region 8 Education Center. Each service center has a lead bid administrator who is responsible for the coordination of bid information and meetings with their members. Region 7/Northern Indiana Educational Services Center (NIESC) is the lead administrator of this team, ensuring all USDA and State requirements are being adhered to as part of the procurement process on behalf of each participating service center.

Each participating district is required to hold a membership in good standing with one of the above listed service centers.

PURPOSE: It is the intent of the members of the Northern Indiana Educational Services Center (NIESC, also known as Region 7) and members of Indiana Educational Service Centers using the Child Nutrition Requests for Proposals, to maintain the integrity of both the bids and the bidding process and to hold those choosing to use these proposals to the standards outlined below under the scope of membership.


    1. Must be a member of Region 7/NIESC or a recognized member of an Indiana Educational Service Center. Per IC 5-22-4-7 and IC 36-1-7, school districts that are members of another ESC may enter into this agreement recognizing the Educational Service Centers as lead organizations utilizing inter-local agreements.
    2. Following federal procurement guidelines utilizing Educational Service Centers per USDA SP-05-2017, CACFP 03-2017, and SFSP 02-2017.

Benefits of participating in our consortium:

Save Money:  By participating in a large consortium, volume means savings!! Compare our pricing on dairy, bread, and cafeteria and commodity food and supplies to yours to see how we can help you save money!!

Save Time:  Take the burden off your shoulders of being strapped with writing bid documents and bidding. Spend your time making sure you are FEEDING KIDS nutritious, hot meals!!

Learn:  Participate in valuable meetings and annual staff development events that cater to creating a culture of learning for our members.

Collaborate:  Work with peers and spend time listening and sharing!

Lead:  Opportunity to participate by sharing your knowledge by leading a discussion or to provide training!

Be Valued!!  Each member has a voice in the process and is heard!!!

Our consortium is comprised of over 80 districts across Indiana! Contact us today to see how your district can participate!

Non-Discrimination Statement

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained here: Complaint Form or from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:

  1. mail:
    U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
  2. fax:
    (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
  3. email: