Press Releases

Teamsters Endorse Bipartisan American Food for American Schools Act


Federal Legislation is Beneficial to Nation’s Youth, Agricultural Workers

Press Contact: Matt McQuaid Phone: (202) 624-6877 Email:

(WASHINGTON) – The Teamsters are calling on the U.S. Senate to pass the American Food for American Schools Act, sponsored by Senators Mike Braun (R-IN) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

“The Teamsters are proud to endorse the American Food for American Schools Act. Food served at our nation’s schools should be grown and processed here in the United States to support good American jobs and ensure the highest safety standards,” said Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien. “We applaud Senators Brown and Braun for their leadership on this issue and look forward to working with them to enact this bill into law.”

Under the bill, school districts would be required to obtain a waiver from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture to purchase foreign-sourced food products funded by the National School Lunch Program, and waivers would only be granted if domestically produced food was cost-prohibitive or simply unavailable. The legislation also contains measures that provide American food suppliers more opportunities to seek out school districts that need affordable domestically grown foods.

“This legislation is needed not just to protect American workers, but American children,” said Peter Finn, Teamsters Western Region International Vice President and Food Processing Division Director. “The National School Lunch Program provides billions of meals to students every year. This legislation will ensure the food that they eat is more likely to be ethically sourced, safer, and economically beneficial to their communities.”

“This bill is necessary to protect strong union jobs like ours – ones that provide good wages, good benefits and a productive work environment,” said Reggie Bennet, a member of Teamsters Local 348 who works at Country Pure Foods in Akron, Ohio. “We need all the processing and manufacturing jobs here in Ohio that we can get and strengthening these rules would help support that goal.”

Companion legislation has already been introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA).

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.2 million hardworking people in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico. Visit for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at