Audit Faults ‘Buy American’ Compliance at California School Lunch Programs

California, home to the nation’s largest agricultural economy, does little to ensure its schools follow federal rules requiring the serving of food produced in the United States, according to an audit released Thursday. The audit was prepared at the request of state lawmakers, who took an interest in school food after local farmers and food processors said schools were increasingly turning to foreign suppliers.

State education officials only recently began checking where school food is produced — and those reviews are too weak, Auditor Elaine Howle concluded. Six school districts checked had purchased foreign food but failed to adequately justify it, the audit showed.

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