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Incentive Awards of Minimal Value

Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin

Purpose: Policy

To: Child and Adult Care Food Program Day Care Home Sponsors

Attention: Authorized Representative and Program Contact

Number: CACFP-01-2018

Date: January 2018

Reference: Food and Nutrition Service Instruction 796-2, Revision 4

Subject: Incentive Awards of Minimal Value

This management bulletin (MB) establishes a maximum allowable cost for offering incentive awards, for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) day care home (DCH) sponsors.


Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Instruction 796-2, Revision 4, allows DCH sponsors to use the CACFP income on incentive awards of minimal value and authorizes the California Department of Education (CDE) to establish a maximum cost. Examples of minimal value items are length of service pins, certificates of appreciation, and plaques.

Maximum Cost for Awards of Minimal Value

FNS 796-2, Revision 4, Section (VIII)(I)(23)(i)(6), separately identifies awards of minimal value such as length of service pins, certificates of appreciation, floral arrangements, live plants, mugs, plaques, or other items as allowable to the extent the employee receiving the award performed program labor.

As a result of this distinction, the CDE establishes a maximum cost of $25 for incentive awards of minimal value.

Action Required to Receive Prior Written Approval for the Minimal Value Awards
Incentive awards of minimal value must receive prior written approval following the established budget submission procedures before any costs can be incurred. The request is submitted on the DCH sponsor administrative budget, Schedule 21, titled Other. The details in Schedule 21 must include the description of each award, the tentative date(s) or schedule of the awards, and the criteria to justify the costs of the minimal value award.
Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding this MB, please contact your assigned CACFP DCH Specialist. A list of the CACFP DCH Specialists is available on the CDE DCH Specialist Assignments Web page at You can also contact Nancy Charpentier, CACFP Unit Office Technician (OT), by phone at 916-327-2991 or by e-mail at, or Leslie Schar, Community Nutrition Programs Administration OT, by phone at 916-324-6153 or by e-mail at to be directed to your assigned DCH Specialist.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, February 13, 2018
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