Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Federal Small Purchase Threshold Adjustment

Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin
Purpose: Beneficial Information
To: Child Nutrition Program Sponsors Number: USDA-CNP-09-2012
Attention: Food Service Directors, Business Officials, Superintendents, Administrators, Purchasing Agents, and Finance Directors Date: November 2012
Subject: Federal Small Purchase Threshold Adjustment
Reference: U.S. Department of Agriculture Policy Memo SP 01-2013; CACFP 01-2013; SFSP 01-2013:

This Management Bulletin (MB) informs all Child Nutrition Program sponsors of an adjustment to the federal small purchase threshold. Effective immediately, school food authorities that are not subject to a state or local small purchase threshold may use the small purchase threshold set by Title 41, United States Code, Section 403(11), which is $150,000.

This increase in the threshold allows for more small purchase procurements using relatively simple and informal methods for securing services, supplies, or other property (Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations [7 CFR] Section 3016.36[d]) provided that each procurement, regardless of amount, is conducted in a manner that ensures free and open competition. Local agencies may set a lower threshold and thereby impose more restrictive procurement procedures as authorized by 7 CFR sections 3016.36(a), 3016.37(a) and 3016.60(a). Therefore, all state and local procurement requirements still apply.

As a reminder, public schools and county offices of education must adhere to the state small purchase threshold. This threshold is changed annually, and may be viewed on the California Department of Education Correspondence Web page at Charter schools, private schools, and residential child care institutions may use the federal small purchase threshold. County operated juvenile detention facilities shall use the small purchase threshold established by the county; however, in the absence of one, they may use the federal threshold.

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding this MB, please contact the appropriate Nutrition Services Division staff member for your agency as indicated below.

School Nutrition Programs

You may find a list of contact information for your School Nutrition Programs (SNP) specialist in the Download Forms section of the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS). You may also contact the SNP Unit Secretary by phone at 916-322-1450 or 916-322-3005.

Child and Adult Care Food Program
You may find a list of contact information for your Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) specialist in the Download Forms section of the CNIPS. You may also contact Nancy Charpentier, CACFP Unit Secretary, by phone at 916-327-2991 or by e-mail at
Summer Food Service Program
You may refer to Form SFSP 01 in the Download Forms section of the CNIPS for a list of Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) specialists. You may also contact Tanya McCrae, SFSP Unit Secretary, by phone at 916-322-8323 or by e-mail at
Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Share this Page

Recently Posted in Nutrition

  • Income Eligibility Scales for 2016-17 (added 05-Apr-2016)
    Income eligibility guidelines for free and reduced-price meals or free milk in Child Nutrition Programs.
  • Professional Development for CNP Personnel (added 01-Apr-2016)
    Information on professional standards, professional development, and California Department of Education (CDE) sponsored trainings opportunities for child nutrition program (CNP) personnel.
  • Professional Standards for SNP Personnel (added 01-Apr-2016)
    Includes information, regulations, and resources for School Nutrition Program (SNP) personnel to implement the professional standards.
  • Team Up for School Nutrition Success (added 21-Mar-2016)
    This unique learning experience serves to enhance a school’s food service operation by providing peer-based technical assistance to School Nutrition Program food service directors (FSD).