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Competitive Procurement and Private Grants

Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin
Purpose: Policy, Beneficial Information

To: School Nutrition Program Sponsors

Number: USDA-SNP-11-2009

Attention: Food Service Director, Business Official, District and County Superintendents

Date: July 2009

Subject: Competitive Procurement and Private Grants for School Food Programs

Reference: Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 210.21, 210.16, 225.17, 3016.36 and 3019.40-48; United States Department of Agriculture Policy Memo SP-09-2009

This Management Bulletin (MB) passes on information from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regarding competitive procurement and private grants for school food programs.

The USDA notified the California Department of Education (CDE) that some federal food program agencies may be applying for, or participating in, private grant programs aimed at assisting schools with the start-up and/or expansion of programs, especially sponsors of the School Breakfast (SBP) and Summer Food Service Programs (SFSP). The foundations sponsoring the grants are associated with companies that provide goods and services to the school meal programs. Review of these grant programs revealed that at least some contain a mandatory purchasing component, requiring recipients to purchase and use a particular vendor’s specified product for a stipulated amount of time.

This MB serves as a reminder for school food authorities (SFAs) that they must comply with the requirements in Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Parts 210.21, 210.16, and 225.17, as well as the requirements in Title 7, CFR, Parts 3016.36 and 3019.40-48. These regulations require that SFAs conduct procurements in a competitive manner.

Due to the proprietary purchasing requirements imposed by these private grant programs, an SFA would be unable to participate in the grant while adhering to all required program regulations, specifically those addressing procurement activities. SFAs that have already received such a grant must take immediate steps to either curtail the grant or to ensure that all purchases made as a result of the grant requirements come only from non-program funding sources. The SFA may not go forward with the grant purchasing requirements using nonprofit school food service account funds.

If you have questions about the content of this MB, please contact the School Nutrition Programs Unit at 800-952-5609.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, February 3, 2015
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