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2022 Kitchen Infrastructure and Training Funds

The 2022 Kitchen Infrastructure and Training (KIT) Funding allocations provide eligible local educational agencies with additional state funds to purchase equipment and upgrades to kitchen infrastructures and offer food service staff training.

Overview

On June 30, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill (AB) 181 (Committee on Budget. Education finance: education omnibus budget trailer bill) into law. This law appropriated $600 million from the State of California’s General Fund to the California Department of Education (CDE) to fund kitchen infrastructure upgrades and food service staff training. Kitchen infrastructure upgrades are intended to: increase a school’s capacity to prepare meals served through a federal school meal program, including for meals freshly prepared on site; to serve fresh and nutritious school meals using minimally processed, locally grown, and sustainable food; to expand meal options for pupils with restricted diets; and to reduce waste. Food service staff training provided through these funds will focus on expanding meal offerings and promoting nutritious foods. Local educational agencies (LEAs) should consider using these funds to support the implementation of California’s Universal Meals Program. Funds must be expended by June 30, 2025. Funding is noncompetitive and eligible entities must register their interest via an online survey. LEAs receiving funds must complete a mandatory report by June 30, 2025.

Funds will be allocated to LEAs, including school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools, that sponsor the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or School Breakfast Program (SBP). Funding amounts for each eligible LEA are based on data and formulas explained in AB 181 and include data from all eligible sites within an LEA’s sponsorship.

The opt-in online registration form deadline has been extended to 5 p.m., December 9, 2022.

Eligibility

The 2022 KIT funds are only available to Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) defined in AB 181 as school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools. Only LEAs that are a program sponsor of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s NSLP or SBP will receive funding. A School Nutrition Program sponsor must have an approved written agreement with the CDE, Nutrition Services Division, a valid Child Nutrition Information and Payment System identification number on file, and be a fully-approved sponsor at the time the online opt-in registration form is due in order to be eligible for funding.

Funding is noncompetitive. Program sponsors of the NSLP or the SBP must register their interest in receiving these funds via an online survey by the deadline.

Guidelines

Timeline
Registration Form
Expenditures Overview
Freshly Prepared, Onsite Preparation of Reimbursable School Meals
Vended Meals
Procurement
Reporting

Timeline

Date Actions to Complete
November 1, 2022 KIT 2022 Opt-in registration released: Registration Form
UPDATED December 9, 2022 by 5 p.m. KIT 2022 Opt-in registration deadline
June 30, 2025 Submit mandatory expenditure report
June 30, 2025 Funds expenditure deadline
Within 30 days of billing notice Deadline to return unused funds

2022 Kitchen Infrastructure and Training Funds Registration Form

The 2022 KIT Registration Form reserves noncompetitive funding for kitchen infrastructure upgrades and training for food service staff. Funding allotments will be distributed to County Offices of Education for distribution to eligible LEAs on behalf of all eligible sites served by the LEA. LEAs should consider equipment and infrastructure needs for all sites to support implementation of California’s Universal Meals Program.

To receive these funds, eligible LEAs must submit an online opt-in registration form no later than 5 p.m., December 9, 2022 (UPDATED). This opt-in registration form must be submitted by an authorized representative of the agency; this is an individual currently on file in the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System.

Following submission of the opt-in registration form, applicants will receive a confirmation email from the CDE. Maintain this confirmation email for your records. If you do not receive a confirmation email within 48 hours of submission, please send an email to KITFunds@cde.ca.gov. Failure to notify KITFunds@cde.ca.gov within the specified timeframe may result in lack of funding availability for your agency.

Expenditures Overview

Please read this section closely. The 2022 allowable KIT funds expenditures are different than the previous year’s KIT funds. The 2022 KIT funds have an additional category of allowable expenses (compensation), expanded training and professional development categories, and allow infrastructure and training to be funded from the same award. All of these are funded through a single SACS code and Revenue code discussed in the Funding tab.

The 2022 KIT funds are awarded according to three calculations, see the Funding Formulas entry on the Funding Tab for more information.

Kitchen Infrastructure Funds

Kitchen infrastructure and equipment purchased with these funds must be for the use of the LEA’s food service department. Additionally, KIT funds must be used to supplement, and not supplant, any federal funds made available through the Child Nutrition Programs.

This funding can be used to purchase or repair equipment, or fund infrastructure improvements, including those needed to implement the Universal Meals Program, at the district, county office of education, or school-site level related to the following categories:

  • Cooking equipment—including, but not limited to, electrical support and facility upgrades, combination ovens, dishwashers, steamers, or tilting skillets

    • Note that when acquiring new cooking equipment, LEAs are encouraged, to the extent practicable, to acquire energy-saving electric and induction equipment rather than equipment that uses fossil fuels.

  • Service equipment—including, but not limited to, service lines, point-of-sale systems, liquid beverage dispensers, reusable utensils, food trays and cups, and mobile carts

  • Refrigeration and storage—including, but not limited to, system upgrades, walk-in refrigerators, freezers, and blast chillers

  • Transportation of ingredients, meals, and equipment between sites—including, but not limited to, vehicles and equipment to prevent spoilage of food in transit

  • Supporting infrastructure system needs for items described in the bullets above, such as electrical, plumbing, and construction

These funds may also be used for any eligible items already purchased, repaired, or installed since the date that this funding was approved, July 1, 2022.

For a more detailed listing of allowable and unallowable kitchen infrastructure expenses, review the Kitchen Infrastructure entries in the Allowable Expenses tab of this web page.

Food Service Staff Training

Trainings provided with these funds are for the benefit of food service staff at the district, county office of education, or school-site level. Funds should be used for food service staff that are employees of the LEA. The term “staff” is inclusive of food service managers.

Training and professional development topics for LEA food service staff may include:

  • Expanding meal offerings

  • Promoting nutritious foods, which may include training on minimally processed, freshly prepared onsite meals, locally and sustainably grown foods, plant-based foods, restricted diet foods, food preparation, healthy food marketing, and reducing food waste

  • Changing the school lunchroom environment

Training can be achieved through a variety of methods. When selecting training methods, keep in mind that the purpose of these funds is to build skills and develop capacity for food service staff. LEAs should also consider food service training needs for the implementation of the Universal Meals Program.

Examples of training methods may include:

  • Group training: large group, small group, etc.
  • Coaching and mentoring: one-on-one training, Train the Trainer, etc.
  • Online training and learning
  • Related courses/certifications: ServSafe, etc.

Additionally, these funds may be used to pay for staff travel and associated expenses (including, but not limited to, registration fees, airfare, car rental, meals, etc.) to travel to an allowable training. Follow your agency’s travel reimbursement policies and procedures when considering funding staff travel.

The LEA must keep records documenting trainings to include:

  • Name of the training
  • Date of training
  • Description of the topic
  • Agenda or learning outcomes
  • Attendance, including the number and type (e.g., front line, managers, etc.) of staff trained

These funds must be used on expenditures that are reasonable, necessary, and allocable and must supplement, not supplant, any federal funds made available through the Child Nutrition Programs.

For a more detailed listing of allowable and unallowable training topics, review the Food Service Staff Training subheadings in the Allowable Expenses tab of this web page.

Staff Salaries

The 2022 KIT funding introduced a new category of allowable expenses. The legislation authorizes funds to be used to provide additional compensation for additional work relating to serving universal school meals that may include minimally processed, locally and sustainably grown foods, a plant-based or restricted diet food option, or a plant-based milk option.

This category of allowable expenses supports LEAs with a short-term funding stream to offset increased staff costs associated with universal meals. Some examples of allowable expenses under this funding could include, but are not limited to:

  • Additional costs associated with local procurement
  • Farm to School Coordinator
  • Food Service Staff Training Position
  • Additional positions and overtime costs associated with new or expanded meal service
  • Staff salary costs associated with hiring positions to support new or expanded meal service

Please note: Staff paid with KIT funds and federal Child Nutrition Funds are required to track time and activity in accordance with federal regulations and state policy. Please refer to CDE Management Bulletins Documenting Employee Time and Effort in the SNPs - School Nutrition and Equivalent Documentation for Multifunded Employees - School Nutrition. Note: For ease of tracking food service expenses, it is strongly recommended to pay all food service staff salaries from Fund 13, and then reimburse Fund 13 with KIT Funds versus paying staff salaries directly from KIT Funds.

Freshly Prepared, Onsite Preparation of Reimbursable School Meals

(Updated May 25, 2023)

The 2022 KIT also provides additional funds to LEAs that attest that no less than 40 percent of reimbursable NSLP and SBP meals, including the entree and grains, prepared each week, beginning in the 2023–24 school year, are freshly prepared onsite meals. Freshly prepared onsite meals means “food service in which the preparation of meals takes place on a daily basis at the site of consumption or in a central kitchen, using whole ingredients in their most basic, minimally processed form, or cooking with both fresh, raw, whole ingredients and ready-made products.”

These additional funds, if elected, must be used to support the planning and implementation of facility improvements and equipment upgrades to increase capacity for freshly prepared onsite meal preparation. Within the broad category of facility improvements and equipment upgrade, the allowable uses for these funds include:

  • Cooking equipment

  • Service equipment

  • Refrigeration and storage

  • Transportation of ingredients, meals, and equipment between sites

  • Supporting infrastructure system needs

  • Training and professional development

  • Providing additional compensation for additional work relating to serving universal school meals

  • Costs for planning and implementing freshly prepared onsite preparation of reimbursable school meals, serving fresh and nutritious reimbursable school meals using California-grown food, or expanding reimbursable meal options for pupils with restricted diets

Examples of equipment that would help to expand reimbursable meal options for restricted diets include:

  • Additional sets of meal prep equipment such as cutting boards, utensils, mixing bowls, etc., to avoid cross contact with allergens

  • Special equipment for blending/pureeing menu items for texture modified diets

  • Salad bars that allow more variety for students with vegan or vegetarian diets

The CDE anticipates that there will be approximately $240 million to award to LEAs that provide attestation that at least 40 percent of the reimbursable meals they serve, including the entree and grain, by school year 2023–24 will be freshly prepared onsite. The award amount per agency will depend on the number of agencies that elect to participate.

Qualifying Freshly Prepared Onsite Meals

(Updated October 9, 2023)

Senate Bill 114 (Education finance: education omnibus budget trailer bill), signed into law on July 10, 2023, revised the definition of freshly prepared onsite meals and also authorized the CDE to interpret the definition and provide guidance to LEAs to support the implementation consistent with the intent. The revised definition of freshly prepared onsite meals is now:

“food service in which the preparation of meals takes place on a daily basis at the site of consumption or in the local educational agency’s central kitchen, using whole ingredients in their most basic, minimally processed form, or cooking or preparing both fresh, raw, whole ingredients and ready-made products.”

Based on this revised definition, either of the two preparation approaches below can be applied to each meal component to determine if, when served together as a meal, they meet the definition of a freshly prepared onsite meal:

  1. Using exclusively whole ingredients in their most basic, minimally processed form. Examples of minimally processed in their most basic form can include whole, cut, sliced, diced, pureed, and fresh, frozen, canned, dried and still be considered minimally processed, or

  2. Cooking or preparing with both fresh, raw, whole ingredients in combination with ready-made products

Note that not all meal components need to use the same preparation approach; for example, the fruit and vegetables may qualify using the first approach, as minimally processed food items, while the grain and meat/meal alternate, when served together in an entrée may qualify using the second approach, commonly used to qualify combination items. As long as each meal component meets the definition of a freshly prepared onsite meal and complies with federal requirements for an SBP and NSLP reimbursable meal, the meal will qualify towards the forty percent weekly freshly prepared onsite meal requirement.

Note that when using the second approach, the addition of fresh, raw, and whole ingredients must be in a minimum creditable amount.

For example, your entrée and grain can each be prepared using a combination of fresh and ready-made ingredients, often referred to as speed-scratch cooking, while the fruit, vegetable, and milk may be served in a minimally processed form. This example would constitute a freshly prepared onsite meal and would count toward the weekly minimum of 40 percent of freshly prepared onsite NSLP and SBP meals.

The guiding principles of this funding are to promote scratch cooking and meal preparation onsite or at your district’s central kitchen, and to move away from processed foods, heat and serve, pre-made entrees, and fillers in foods.

Minimally Processed Food Items

Foods may come in a wide variety of states (e.g., whole, cut, sliced, diced, pureed, etc.) and/or forms (e.g., fresh, frozen, canned, dried, etc.) and still be considered minimally processed. Examples of minimally processed foods from each of the reimbursable meal components are:

  • Fruits and vegetables (including 100 percent juice, canned in light syrup)
  • Pastas, rice, oatmeal, whole grain-rich bread and rolls, and tortillas
  • Meats (whole, pieces, or ground meat)
  • Meat alternates such as tofu, beans, and legumes
  • Fluid milk, cheese, yogurt

Processed Food Items

Foods that are generally understood to be prepared or significantly processed cannot be served as a stand-alone item in a freshly prepared onsite meal; ready-made items must be incorporated or combined into the cooked or prepared meal that includes fresh, raw, or whole ingredients (e.g. cut, sliced, diced, pureed, that can then be cooked).

Examples of stand-alone processed food items that disqualify a meal from meeting the definition of a freshly prepared onsite meal include:

  • Commercially-prepared baked goods such as pastries, and crackers

  • Cold breakfast cereals and hot instant cereals

  • Prepackaged items such as sandwiches, burgers, muffins, pancakes, and waffles

  • Other prepared and/or pre-cooked items that come ready-to-eat or that require no further preparation beyond heating (e.g., vended meals, chicken nuggets, breaded chicken patties, fish sticks, pre-made pizzas, etc.)

As a reminder, these items may qualify if cooked or prepared with fresh, raw, or whole ingredients.

Cooking and preparing with both fresh, raw, whole ingredients in combination with ready-made products

Meals may qualify as a freshly prepared onsite meal when cooked with both fresh, raw, or whole ingredients and ready-made ingredients. This process of meal preparation is often referred to as “speed-scratch” cooking. If you are serving a ready-made item, you must incorporate a fresh, raw, or whole ingredient in the minimum creditable quantity that contributes to one or more of the meal components.

Freshly Prepared Onsite Meals: Applying the Qualifying Criteria

Below is an example of a single meal and how it can be prepared in either of the approaches that meet the current definition of a freshly prepared onsite meal as well as an example of the same meal prepared in a manner that does not qualify.

The meal: Pasta with meatballs and sauce, fresh fruit slices, steamed cut broccoli, and milk.

Qualifying Meals:

  1. Preparation Approach: Using exclusively whole ingredients in their most basic, minimally processed form (this can include whole, cut, pureed, and fresh, frozen, canned, dried, etc.)

    Meal: Pasta with scratch-made meatballs and sauce, with fresh fruit slices, steamed cut broccoli, and milk prepared onsite or in the district’s central kitchen.

    Discussion: The entrée includes pasta as the grain and scratch-made meatballs and sauce, all components are considered minimally processed. The fresh fruit slices, steamed cut broccoli, and milk are also all considered minimally processed. Each component within the meal uses exclusively whole ingredients in their most basic, minimally processed form. Therefore, this meal meets the definition of a freshly prepared onsite meal and can be counted toward meeting your 40 percent.
  1. Preparation Approach: Cooking with both fresh, raw, whole ingredients in combination with ready-made products:

    Meal: Pasta with scratch-made sauce and USDA meatballs, with fresh fruit slices, steamed cut broccoli, and milk prepared onsite or in the district’s central kitchen.

    Discussion: The scratch-made sauce meets the requirement of cooking with fresh, raw and whole ingredients. The scratch-made sauce is then combined with ready-made meatballs. When served with the remaining items which are all considered minimally processed, this meal meets the definition of a freshly prepared onsite meal. Note that this meal would also qualify if the meatballs were made from scratch and the sauce was commercially-prepared. This meal meets the definition of a freshly prepared onsite meal and can be counted toward meeting the 40 percent threshold.

Nonqualifying Meal:

Meal: Pre-cooked pasta served with commercially-prepared sauce and commercially-prepared meatballs with fresh fruit slices, steamed cut broccoli, and milk prepared onsite or in the district’s central kitchen.

Discussion: The pasta is considered  a ready-made product; in order for a meal to qualify as freshly prepared onsite meal, a food item when cooked with ready-made ingredients must also be cooked with fresh, raw, whole ingredients. In this case, neither the sauce nor the meatballs are fresh, raw, whole ingredients. Therefore, because the entrée doesn’t meet the definition, this meal would not meet the definition of a freshly prepared onsite meal and would not count toward the 40 percent threshold. In order to qualify this meal, the raw pasta could be cooked onsite with ready-made sauce or meatballs.

Additional Examples of Qualifying Freshly Prepared Onsite Meals

The examples listed below are drawn from posted menus from School Food Authorities in California as well as Team Nutrition recipes. We will continue to add examples to our web page to assist you in examining your reimbursable meal options to determine if and how they could qualify as a freshly prepared onsite meal.

  1. Freshly prepared spicy chicken wrap with scratch-made slaw in a whole grain tortilla, a salad and a banana on the side, and milk.

    The spicy chicken wrap entrée, including the grain, would be considered a combination of fresh, raw, whole ingredients and a ready-made product, if prepared onsite or in the district’s central kitchen. The ready-made products include the breaded whole muscle chicken patty and whole wheat tortilla which are cooked in combination with the scratch-made spicy slaw. The salad, banana, and milk would be considered minimally processed. Thus, this meal meets the definition of a freshly prepared onsite meal and can be counted toward meeting the 40 percent threshold.
  1. Orange Chicken & Broccoli Brown Rice Bowl, fresh kiwi, milk

    The brown rice and steamed cut broccoli are fresh, raw, whole ingredients (and also considered minimally processed), and, when cooked onsite or in the district’s central kitchen in combination with the ready-made frozen, pre-cooked orange chicken, the entrée, including the grain, now meets the requirements. When served in combination with fresh kiwi and milk, which are minimally processed, this meal meets the requirements for a freshly prepared onsite meal and can be counted toward meeting the 40 percent.
  1. Chicken salad sandwich on whole grain bread, celery sticks, banana, and milk.

    The chicken salad, prepared onsite with a mixture of commercially-prepared cooked chicken cubes, celery, onions, and red bell pepper, garnished with lettuce and tomato and served on whole grain bread is considered a mixture of fresh, raw, whole ingredients in combination with the ready-made whole grain-rich bread. When served with the celery sticks, banana, and milk, all considered minimally processed, this meal meets the requirements for a freshly prepared onsite meal and can be counted toward meeting the 40 percent threshold.
  1. Hamburger (or Cheeseburger), canned peach slices, frozen peas, and milk.

    Raw 100 percent ground beef hamburger, such as a grass-fed patty, with no added fillers, cooked onsite and served, with or without cheese, on a whole grain-rich roll is considered a combination of fresh, raw, whole ingredients cooked in combination with ready-made products. When served with frozen peas, canned peach slices, and milk, all considered minimally processed, this meal meets the requirements for a freshly prepared onsite meal and can be counted toward meeting the 40 percent threshold.
  1. Pizza bread, carrot sticks, apple slices, and milk.

    Pizza sauce made from scratch used in combination with a prepared whole grain-rich roll or crust and topped with cheese and pepperoni and cooked onsite or in the district’s central kitchen is considered an entrée cooked with a combination of ready-made products and fresh, raw, whole ingredients. When served with carrot sticks, apple slices, and milk, all considered minimally processed, this meal meets the requirements for a freshly prepared onsite meal and can be counted toward meeting the 40 percent threshold.
  1. Whole Grain Green Chili Pork Burrito scratch-cooked (slow roasted pork, green chilies, black beans, rice, roasted red peppers), grilled fajita vegetables and seasonal fruit.

    Scratch-cooked, slow roasted chili pork prepared in combination with whole black beans and roasted red peppers and served in a ready-made tortilla qualifies this entrée as it is a combination of ready-made products cooked with fresh, raw, whole ingredients. When served with grilled peppers and onions and seasonal fruit, which are minimally processed, this is a qualifying freshly prepared onsite meal.
  1. Chili Cheese nachos, whole kernel corn, peaches, and milk.

    Scratch-cooked chili served over whole grain corn chips qualifies this entrée as it is a combination of ready-made products cooked with fresh, raw, whole ingredients. When served with whole kernel corn, canned peaches, and milk, which are minimally processed, the meal meets the definition of a freshly prepared onsite meal which can be counted towards the 40 percent threshold.
  1. Sunrise breakfast burrito served with 100 percent juice.

    The Sunrise breakfast burrito is comprised of scratch-cooked sausage crumbles; chopped, frozen onion; canned, whole black beans; prepared scrambled eggs; shredded cheese; and served in a whole grain tortilla. This entree qualifies as a combination of fresh, raw, whole ingredients cooked with ready-made products. When served with 100 percent juice, which is considered minimally processed, the meal qualifies as a freshly prepared onsite meal. This meal can be counted towards the 40 percent threshold.

    If the Sunrise burrito filling was prepared using pre-cooked sausage crumbles and mixed with shelled, fluid eggs, then cooked with chopped, frozen onion, and canned whole black beans, the meal would still qualify with the raw eggs and whole beans being fresh, raw, whole ingredients cooked with the ready-made pre-cooked sausage crumbles.

Freshly Prepared Onsite Meal Service Considerations

  1. Holding Time and Integrity

    Exceptions to the requirement to assemble or cook items together may be made for reasons of ensuring food safety and menu item integrity during holding times. Common examples of food items where this exception may apply are sandwiches and breakfast items. For the purposes of qualifying these meals as freshly prepared onsite meals, these items should be marketed, menued, and served together.

    Examples:
  • Waffles and scratch-cooked fruit compote: fruit compote may be served on the side for pre-plated waffles, or may be added as a topping at the time of service to prevent waffles from getting soggy while holding. 
  • Slaw-topped Chicken Sandwich: coleslaw topping may be served on the side of the sandwich or may be added as topping at the time of service to prevent the sandwich bun from getting soggy while holding. 
  1. Supply Chain Issues

    In circumstances where an LEA is unable to provide the freshly prepared onsite meal as planned due to supply chain challenges, the LEA must do the following:
  • Document the issues with the supply chain and attempts to resolve/address issue
  • Record substitution used, even if is only a temporary solution, and where ever possible, the substitution should meet the intent
  1. Staffing Challenges

    For significant staffing shortages that require menu modifications resulting in an inability to provide the freshly prepared onsite meal as planned, such as in a disaster situation or labor dispute, the LEA must:
  • Document the severity of the staffing issues
  • Record the menu substitution

Vended Meals

LEAs that receive vended meals are eligible for 2022 KIT base funding ($100,000) as well as the proportional funding based on the number of NSLP and SBP meals claimed in October 2021. These funds must be used on district kitchen infrastructure upgrades that will increase a school’s capacity to prepare meals served through a federal school meal program, including for freshly prepared onsite meals, to serve fresh and nutritious school meals using minimally processed, locally grown, and sustainable food, or for expanding meal options for pupils with restricted diets. If your agency is not able to use these funds in this manner, you are not required to apply.

LEAs that receive vended meals can receive the optional funding for freshly prepared onsite meals. In order to meet the criteria that no less than 40 percent of reimbursable NSLP and SBP meals meet the definition of a freshly prepared onsite meal beginning in the 2023–24 school year, LEAs must be able to serve a combination of vended meals and meals freshly prepared onsite or in the school district’s central kitchen. Vended meals do not meet the definition of a freshly prepared onsite meal and therefore do not count towards the 40 percent threshold. To qualify for this additional funding opportunity, at minimum 40 percent of reimbursable NSLP and SBP meals prepared each week shall qualify as freshly prepared onsite meals; LEAs may choose to vend the remaining 60 percent. These funds cannot be used to support vended meal service.

Procurement

These funds are state General Fund monies. At a minimum, your LEA must follow all applicable procurement processes and guidelines, which may include, but are not limited to:

  • Conducting procurements in a manner that is compliant with your LEA’s procurement procedures and that promotes full and open competition

  • Complying with your LEA’s written standard (or code) of conduct that covers conflicts of interest, including organizational conflicts of interest, and governs the performance of employees engaged in the selection, award, and administration of contracts and purchases

  • Maintaining records sufficient to detail the history of procurement. These records will include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following: rationale for the method of procurement, selection of contract type, contractor selection or rejection, and the basis for the contract price

  • Maintaining all vendor invoices, and receipts

Keep in mind, these purchases may also fall under emergency procurement protocols while the Coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency declaration is in place.

Reporting

As a condition of accepting these funds, LEAs must commit to completing a mandatory expenditure report. This report will gather details on how the funds were used to improve the quality of school meals or increase participation. This report will also gather information on the food service staff training topics and number of trainings and attendees. The CDE anticipates that this report will be submitted in the form of an online survey. This survey will be available by May 2025, and will be due by June 30, 2025.

Funding

Funding Announcements
Funding Mechanism and Timelines
Funding Formulas
Tracking Funds
Accounting
Expenditure Deadline

Funding Announcements

Funding awards will be located on the CDE Funding Results web page after the 2022 KIT Funds deadline passes and the NSD creates the final funding spreadsheet.

Funding Mechanism and Timelines

Following the timely receipt of the opt-in registration form, the CDE will release 100 percent of each LEA’s available funds.

The CDE will disburse funds to the County Treasurer’s Offices. Please be sure that the address you enter into the opt-in registration is your physical address. If your LEA is a part of an agency with multiple locations, enter your physical address and not the address of the headquarters.

Entering any address other than your physical address will cause a delay in payment.

Kitchen Infrastructure and Training (KIT) Funds must be expended by June 30, 2025.

Unused funds must be returned within 30 days of receiving a CDE billing notice.

Funding Formulas

This is a noncompetitive, voluntary funding opportunity. Eligible LEAs may decline these funds altogether, or may accept less than the total amount designated.

This funding must be used on “kitchen infrastructure upgrades that will increase a school’s capacity to prepare meals served through a federal school meal program, including for freshly prepared onsite meals, to serve fresh and nutritious school meals using minimally processed, locally grown, and sustainable food, or for expanding meal options for pupils with restricted diets.”

Total Amount of Funds Available to Distribute: $600,000,000

The award amounts are calculated according to three categories:

  • Base Funding ($100,000): Each eligible LEA may request a noncompetitive, base funding level of $100,000 to use for kitchen infrastructure and equipment upgrades, food service staff training, and for additional compensation for additional work relating to serving universal school meals.

  • Meal-Service-Based Award: After the base funding is awarded, fifty percent of the remaining funds are allocated proportionately to LEAs based on the total number of reimbursable meals served in October 2021 by the LEA. National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program and Seamless Summer Option Meals will be included in this calculation. These funds follow the same allowable categories of expenditures as the base funding.

  • Attestation for Onsite, Freshly-prepared Meals Award: The remaining funds are allocated to LEAs that attest that no less than 40 percent of reimbursable NSLP and SBP meals, including the entree and grains, prepared each week, beginning in the 2023–24 school year, shall be freshly prepared onsite meals. Allocation of these funds is proportionate based on the number of reimbursable meals served in October 2021 by the LEA.

    • These funds must be used for planning and implementation of facility improvements and equipment upgrades to increase capacity for freshly prepared onsite meal preparation. Allowable uses are for “kitchen equipment and infrastructure, training and professional development, and to provide additional compensation for additional work relating to serving universal school meals that may include minimally processed, locally and sustainably grown foods, a plant-based or restricted diet food option, or a plant-based milk option.”

Note: The funding approaches provided in this section are only an estimate and amounts awarded may change based on responses to the opt-in survey. Actual award amounts will be posted on the CDE Funding Results web page.

Tracking Funds

LEAs should not obligate or expend funds until the funds have been received and deposited into the LEAs account. However, you are encouraged to begin to develop an internal plan and process to help prepare for these expenditures.

Once an SFA receives the 2022 KIT Funds you are encouraged to deposit them into your agency’s general fund account. The KIT Funds should be accounted for, and tracked separately from, the nonprofit school food service account (also known as the cafeteria fund). If you deposit KIT funds into your Fund 13, KIT funds will take on the rules governing the cafeteria fund, which will result in less flexibilities for use.

Cafeteria funds can be used to supplement equipment purchased with Kitchen Infrastructure Funds, but additional federal requirements must be met, including:

  • Written preapproval by the CDE,

  • Federal procurement requirements, and

  • Potential review by the CDE Nutrition Services Division during a School Nutrition Program Administrative Review.

Cafeteria fund expenditures not in compliance with federal regulation may be subject to disallowance.

The 2022 KIT funds can be used in combination with the 2021 KIT funds as long as the purchase meets the allowable expense requirements and funding expenditure timeframes for both funding sources. Ensure proper accounting and documentation for both the 2021 KIT Funds and the 2022 KIT Funds.

For more information on restrictions and regulations governing the use of cafeteria funds, please see the CDE Cafeteria Fund Guidance web page.

To request approval for cafeteria fund expenditures, please contact the Resource Management Unit at SNPCafeFundQuestions@cde.ca.gov.

Accounting

The CDE has created a new standardized account code structure (SACS) resource code to help you record the 2022 KIT Funds. Please ensure the revenue is deposited into the agency’s general fund using the resource code below:

SACS Resource Code: 7032

Revenue Object Code: 8520

The resource code is now available in the SACS tables of valid code combinations. If you have questions about the accounting for these funds using the new resource code, please contact the School Fiscal Services Division at SACSINFO@cde.ca.gov.

Also note that indirect costs are not an allowable expense for the 2022 KIT funds.

Expenditure Deadline

Funds must be expended by June 30, 2025. Unexpended funds must be returned to the CDE within 30 days of invoicing.

Allowable Expenses

Kitchen Infrastructure–Allowable Expenses

Below is a listing of allowable kitchen infrastructure expenses by the four categories noted in the law. This list is not exhaustive. Kitchen infrastructure and equipment purchased with these funds must be for the use of the LEA’s food service department. Kitchen infrastructure and equipment costs incurred must be reasonable and necessary.

Cooking equipment and supporting infrastructure system needs, includes but not limited to:
  • Oven, range, stove, steamer
    • Combi
    • Convection
    • Conventional
    • Conveyor
    • Countertop
    • Double stack
    • Griddle
    • Heat-n-hold
    • Holding unit
    • Induction cooktop
    • Range top
    • Reel
    • Rotating rack
  • Tilt skillet
  • Sushi machine
  • Exhaust or condensate hood
  • Countertop/floor mixer
  • Hot or cold cart or cabinet
    • Beverage service
    • Buffet
    • Holding
    • Mobile
    • Proofing
    • Retherm
    • Rolling
    • Self-serve
    • Serving
    • Warming
    • Kitchen sink
    • Compartment
    • Hand
    • Utility
  • Barbeque
  • Braising pan
  • Broiler
  • Dough divider
  • Food processor
  • Food slicer, chopper, dicer, etc.
  • Griddle
  • Microwave
  • Pizza oven
  • Produce washers
  • Smoothie blender
  • Steam jacket kettle
  • Bagging machine
  • Cook or chill system
  • Depositor and filling machine
  • Drawer warmer
  • Meal or food packing machine
  • Shrink wrapper machine
  • Stainless steel work tables
  • Tray sealer machine
  • Dishwasher
  • Styrofoam recycling machine
  • Electrical, structural, plumbing, and other facility upgrade support
Service equipment, includes but not limited to:
  • Service lines
  • Point-of-sale systems (pin pads, tablets, scanners)
  • Mobile carts
  • Food display (hot or cold)
  • Menu boards (including digital)
  • Hot well transport system
  • Serving equipment
  • Serving line system (hot or cold)
  • Speed line (hot or cold)
  • Cold pan serving counter
  • Steam table
  • Plate or tray dispenser
  • Salad bar
  • Tables or chairs
  • Shelving
  • Menu planning programs
  • Nutrient analysis software
  • Online payment systems
Refrigeration and storage, includes but not limited to:
  • Walk-in refrigerators
  • Walk-in freezers
  • Blast chillers
  • Camchiller
  • Combo
  • Glass door
  • Ice chest
  • Milk cooler
  • Mobile
  • Reach-in
  • Roll-in
  • Undercounter
  • Work-top
  • Inventory management systems and software, including items such as scanners, bar code readers, label makers, printers
  • Temperature monitoring and management systems and software
  • Backup generator for refrigerators
Transportation of ingredients, meals, and equipment between sites, includes but not limited to:
  • Vehicles and equipment to prevent spoilage of food in transit
  • Refrigerated truck
  • Warmers
  • Carts and hand trucks
  • Forklift

Kitchen Infrastructure–Unallowable Expenses

While these funds are flexible, any infrastructure or equipment that does not meet their purpose, which is to “increase pupil access to, or improve the quality of, fresh and nutritious school meals,” or is not deemed reasonable and necessary is not allowable. Some unallowable expenses include:

  • Indirect costs
  • Murals
  • Security systems
  • Items or infrastructure not for the use of the LEA’s food service department
  • Health inspections/pest services
  • Heating/air duct maintenance
  • Custodial services

Food Service Staff Training–Allowable Expenses

Trainings provided with these funds are for the benefit of food service staff at the district, county office of education, or school-site level. Funds should be used for food service staff that are employees of the LEA. Training costs incurred must be reasonable and necessary.

The LEA must keep records documenting trainings to include:
  • Name of the training

  • Date of training

  • Description of the topic

  • Agenda or learning outcomes

  • Attendance, including the number and type (e.g., front line, managers, etc.) of staff trained
Below is a listing of allowable food service staff training topics. This list is not exhaustive:
  • Minimally processed, freshly prepared onsite meals
  • Locally and sustainably grown foods
  • Restricted diet foods
  • Food preparation and culinary skills
  • Food safety
  • Recipe standardization
  • Scratch cooking
  • Healthy food marketing
  • Healthy beverage marketing
  • Incorporating plant-based menu options
  • Equipment training
  • Farm to School or locally sourced foods
  • Changing the school lunchroom environment and Smarter Lunchroom trainings
  • Food waste management and reduction
  • Student engagement in school meals and food environment design
  • Policy, Systems, and Environmental Change strategies to promote healthy food
  • How school wellness policies can promote healthy foods
  • Menu planning for healthy food promotion
  • Child Nutrition Program meal patterns
  • Hosting a healthy food taste testing event
  • Conducting nutrition education and healthy food promotion activities
  • Promoting equity in the school lunch environment

Staff Salaries for Trainings

KIT funds may pay for staff salaries associated with trainings conducted during typical work time as well as trainings conducted outside of normal work hours.

  • When there is a training during business hours, KIT funds can be used to pay for staff salaries and necessary substitute hours.

  • When KIT-funded training results in staff overtime, KIT funds may be used to pay for the overtime associated with the training.

If internal staff are providing the training, KIT funds may be used to fund staff costs to develop and present the training; in this instance, it is important to ensure that only one funding source, federal or state funding, is charged for this time.

As a reminder, LEAs are responsible for the proper tracking and accounting for both federal and state funds associated with staff time and substitutes. Note: For ease of tracking food service expenses, it is strongly recommended to pay all food service staff salaries from Fund 13, and then reimburse Fund 13 with KIT Funds versus paying staff salaries directly from KIT Funds.

Consultants

KIT funds may pay for consultants hired to conduct trainings and build staff capacity to promote nutritious foods.

Professional Standards

To help clarify the use of KIT training funds in connection with professional standards, the NSD has outlined the following:

  • Trainings that fulfill the KIT training purpose, and also address the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) professional standards learning objectives for school nutrition professionals, can be paid for using KIT funds. Information regarding the USDA’s professional standards can be found on the USDA's Professional Standards web page External link opens in new window or tab..

  • Time spent in trainings that fulfill the purpose of the KIT training funds may also be counted towards the professional standards training requirements of USDA as applicable.

  • If an eligible staff member is enrolled in a college degree program, KIT training funds cannot be used to pay for a degree program. However, KIT training funds can be used to pay for individual college courses that also meet the purpose of the KIT training funds.

Travel

To help clarify the use of KIT training funds for travel to allowable training opportunities, the NSD has outlined the following:

  • KIT training funds can be used for applicable travel expenses (including, but not limited to, registration fees, airfare, car rental, meals, etc.) within or outside of California in order to attend trainings that meet the purpose of the KIT training funds.

  • Travel expenses must follow the organization's policies and be reasonable and necessary.

Food Service Management Companies (FSMC)

To help clarify if and when a local educational agency (LEA) can use KIT training funds to pay for an FSMC training, the Nutrition Services Division (NSD) has outlined the following:

  • KIT funds must be used to train LEA food service staff. FSMC staff may attend if there is no resulting additional cost to the training.

  • KIT training funds cannot be awarded to an existing FSMC to provide training if training is already a part of an existing contract. Any KIT-funded training provided by an FSMC must be above and beyond current contracted activities and trainings.

Food Service Staff Training–Unallowable Expenses

While these funds are flexible, any training that does not meet their purpose, which is “for food service staff to receive training on promoting nutritious foods, which may include training on food preparation, healthy food marketing, and changing the school lunchroom environment,” or deemed unreasonable and unnecessary, is not allowable. Additional food service staff training unallowable expenses include:

  • Indirect costs

  • Training that supplants the federally-required professional standards

  • Training non-food service staff

  • Hiring consultants to do the work of food service employees

    • Note that this does not pertain to the use of substitute employees to work in place of staff attending trainings

  • Memorabilia, gifts, or promotional items

  • Food provided during training

  • Logo apparel, uniforms

Additional Compensation for Additional Work Relating to Serving Universal Meals–Allowable Expenses

This category of allowable expenses supports LEAs with a short-term funding stream to offset increase staff costs relating to serving universal school meals that may include minimally processed, locally and sustainably grown foods, a plant-based or restricted diet food option, or a plant-based milk option. Some examples of allowable expenses under this funding include compensation related, but not limited to:

  • Procurement of locally and sustainably grown foods

  • Procurement, invoicing, accounts receivable

  • Food Service Staff Training Position

  • Additional positions, hours, and overtime costs associated with new or expanded meal service (costs can include salary and benefits)

LEAs should take care to maintain documentation that demonstrates that these costs are related to universal meals and that that workload is above and beyond that of past years.

Additional Compensation for Additional Work Relating to Serving Universal Meals–Unallowable Expenses

Unallowable expenses regarding this specific area include:

  • Expenses that do not incorporate or relate to any of the required compensation categories, including minimally processed, locally and sustainably grown foods, plant-based or restricted diet food options, or plant-based milk options.

  • Custodial and maintenance services

Freshly Prepared, Onsite Preparation of Reimbursable School Meals–Allowable Expenses

The 2022 KIT provides funds to LEAs that attest that no less than 40 percent of reimbursable NSLP and SBP meals, including the entree and grains, prepared each week, beginning in the 2023–24 school year, shall be freshly prepared onsite meals.

These additional funds, if elected, must be used to support the planning and implementation of facility improvements and equipment upgrades to increase capacity for freshly prepared onsite meal preparation. Within the broad category of facility improvements and equipment upgrade, the allowable uses for these funds include:

  • Cooking equipment

  • Service equipment

  • Refrigeration and storage

  • Transportation of ingredients, meals, and equipment between sites

  • Supporting infrastructure system needs

  • Training and professional development

  • Providing additional compensation for additional work relating to serving universal school meals

  • Costs for planning and implementing freshly prepared onsite preparation of reimbursable school meals, serving fresh and nutritious reimbursable school meals using California-grown food, or expanding reimbursable meal options for pupils with restricted diets

Examples of equipment that would help to expand reimbursable meal options for restricted diets include:

  • Additional sets of meal prep equipment such as cutting boards, utensils, mixing bowls, etc., to avoid cross contact with allergens

  • Special equipment for blending/pureeing menu items for texture modified diets

  • Salad bars that allow more variety for students with vegan or vegetarian diets

Freshly Prepared, Onsite Preparation of Reimbursable School Meals–Unallowable Expenses

Unallowable expenses regarding this specific area include:

  • Any unallowable expenses as described in the above sections

  • Expenses that do not incorporate areas relating to freshly prepared meals on site, or using California grown foods, or expanding meal options for pupils with restricted diets.

For questions about expenses not listed, email KITfunds@cde.ca.gov. Please include the name or type of infrastructure, equipment, or training in question and include a brief justification for how it meets the objectives of this funding.

Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility
Applying
Funding
Procurement
Serving 40 Percent Freshly Prepared Onsite Meals
Allowable Uses of Funds
Reporting

Eligibility

  1. Which LEAs are eligible for Kitchen Infrastructure and Training (KIT) Funds?

    Eligible LEAs include public school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools that are NSLP or SBP sponsors. Applications for sponsorship must be complete at the time the opt-in registration for the KIT funding is due.

  1. Our school participates in NSLP or SBP under another LEA, are we eligible for KIT Funds?

    Sponsors administering nutrition programs on behalf of other LEAs should include the equipment and training needs of all sites under their administration. LEAs that participate, but are not sponsors, do not submit separate registrations for this funding.

  2. My LEA is in the process of becoming a sponsor. Do we qualify for these funds?

    Applicants must be approved sponsors at the time the online opt-in registration form is due. Late applications may be submitted following approval; however, funding is not guaranteed for late applications.

  3. My LEA receives vended meals. Are we eligible for 2022 KIT Funds?

    LEAs that receive vended meals are eligible for 2022 KIT base funding ($100,000) as well as the proportional funding based on the number of NSLP and SBP meals claimed in October 2021. These funds must be used on district kitchen infrastructure upgrades that will increase a school’s capacity to prepare meals served through a federal school meal program, including for freshly prepared onsite meals, to serve fresh and nutritious school meals using minimally processed, locally grown, and sustainable food, or for expanding meal options for pupils with restricted diets. If your agency is not able to use these funds in this manner, you are not required to apply.

    LEAs that receive vended meals can receive the optional funding for freshly prepared onsite meals. In order to meet the criteria that no less than 40 percent of reimbursable NSLP and SBP meals meet the definition of a freshly prepared onsite meal beginning in the 2023–24 school year, LEAs can serve a combination of vended meals and meals freshly prepared onsite or in the school district’s central kitchen. Vended meals do not meet the definition of a freshly prepared onsite meal and therefore do not count towards the 40 percent threshold. To qualify for this additional funding opportunity, at minimum 40 percent of reimbursable NSLP and SBP meals prepared each week shall qualify as freshly prepared onsite meals; LEAs may choose to vend the remaining 60 percent. These funds cannot be used to support vended meal service.

Applying

  1. How do we opt-in to the funds?

    The CDE has developed an online registration form. Sponsors of the NSLP and SBP are required to complete this form by 5 p.m. on December 9, 2022 (UPDATED). Late applications will be accepted but are not guaranteed funding.

  2. What information is needed for the opt-in online registration form?

    To complete the registration form, have the following information available:

    • Child Nutrition Information and Payment System identification number, vendor number, or both.

    In addition, LEAs should be prepared to input preliminary, nonbinding information about how they plan to spend the KIT Funds.

    • For the kitchen infrastructure, that includes noting which categories capture your agency’s proposed expenditures. Those categories are: cooking equipment and supporting infrastructure, service equipment, refrigeration and storage, and transportation of ingredients, meals, and equipment between sites. For the training activities, this includes noting the estimated number of trainings you plan to provide, the estimated number of food service staff that will attend, and possible topics.

    • Determine whether or not your agency wishes to attest that no less than 40 percent of reimbursable federal NSLP and SBP meals, including the entrée and grains, prepared each week, beginning in the 2023–24 school year shall be freshly prepared onsite meals.

Funding

  1. How do we know how much funding we will receive?

    All eligible LEAs can request a Kitchen Infrastructure, Equipment, and Training Fund base amount of up to $100,000. Fifty percent of remaining KIT Funds will be disbursed proportionately among those LEAs that completed the online opt-in registration form by the deadline and based on the number of total meals served in October 2021. The remaining funds will be disbursed to the LEAs that attest that at least 40 percent of their reimbursable meals, starting in the 2023–24 school year, will be prepared onsite meals.

    Once available, the link to the KIT funding amounts will be posted in the Funding tab of this web page.

  2. How are rebates factored into the Kitchen Infrastructure Funds?

    Any rebate, discount, or credit for purchase must be subtracted from the total cost. For example, if a piece of equipment originally costs $6,000 and later the vendor offered a $100 rebate for purchase of the equipment, with a resulting actual cost of $5,900, the school food authority (SFA) may only use $5,900 of the Kitchen Infrastructure Funds for this purchase. SFAs should work with vendors while obtaining the initial quotes to determine whether there are any rebates, discounts, or credits prior to purchasing the equipment.

  3. Can 2021 KIT and 2022 KIT Funding sources be combined?

    The 2022 KIT funds can be used in combination with the 2021 KIT funds as long as the purchase meets the allowable expense requirements and funding expenditure timeframes for both funding sources. Ensure proper accounting and documentation for both funding streams.

Procurement

  1. Can noncompetitive purchases be made with this funding?

    LEAs must follow all state and local procurement standards. While the federal Coronavirus (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency declaration is in effect, purchases may fall under disaster procurement guidelines.

Serving 40 Percent Freshly Prepared Onsite Meals

  1. How does an agency calculate the percentage of freshly prepared onsite meals (FPOM) when offering multiple entrees or using Offer versus Serve?

    The percentage of FPOMs is based on the total number of NSLP and SBP meal options offered (or menued) each week. For example, if a school food service authority makes available a total of five reimbursable breakfast meals and 15 reimbursable lunch meals across all school sites, then the SFA would determine 40 percent of 20 meals, for a goal of eight freshly prepared onsite meal options served weekly. The number of meals served of each choice is immaterial to the calculation of the freshly prepared onsite meal goal.

    If an entrée is served more than one time per week it should be counted each time it appears on the menu as an entrée towards the total number of meals served weekly.

  2. How do we count meals towards the freshly prepared onsite meal percent requirement in schools where offer versus serve is implemented?

    For sites where offer versus serve is implemented, count what is offered, not what is taken, for the purposes of meeting the freshly prepared onsite meal minimum of 40%.

  3. What happens if an agency receives the additional funds to implement at least 40 percent of their meals meeting the FPOM definition, but fails to meet this requirement?

    LEAs are expected to return all funds provided under this option if the LEA does not meet the required benchmark.

  4. How much of a fresh, raw or whole ingredient has to be combined with a ready-made product in order for it to qualify towards a FPOM?

    The fresh, raw, or whole ingredient must be combined in a creditable amount when cooking or preparing with a ready-made ingredient in order for it to count towards a FPOM. Note that the minimum creditable serving for a fruit or vegetable is at least 1/8 cup and the minimum creditable serving for a grain, a meat, or a meat alternate is at least one quarter ounce equivalent.

  5. Do yogurt parfaits count towards the 40 percent FPOM?

    Senate Bill 114 (Education Finance: omnibus trailer bill) revised the definition of FPOM to include meals that are “cooked or prepared.” This opened the door for uncooked entrees and other meal components to count towards a freshly prepared onsite meal.

    There are two approaches to determining if an item qualifies for a FPOM. The first approach is using “whole ingredients in their most basic, minimally processed form.” Yogurt is considered a minimally processed meal component; if topped with strawberries or other fruit, and house-made granola, all ingredients are considered minimally processed. If using a ready-made product, such as granola, then the second approach to determining if an item qualifies towards a freshly prepared onsite meal should be used. This approach assesses “cooking or preparing with both fresh, raw, whole ingredients and ready-made products.” In this case, the yogurt parfait can qualify as yogurt is considered a raw ingredient, the strawberries may be fresh or whole ingredients, and the granola is ready-made.

  6. Do cold sandwiches count towards the 40 percent FPOM?

    Senate Bill 114 (Education Finance: omnibus trailer bill) revised the definition of FPOM to include meals that are “cooked or prepared.” This opened the door for uncooked entrees and other meal components to count towards a freshly prepared onsite meal.

    Sandwiches, whether hot or cold are considered combination foods and, unless the bread is made from scratch, the second approach to qualifying meal components for a freshly prepared onsite meal is used - “cooking or preparing with both fresh, raw, whole ingredients and ready-made products”. Commercially prepared bread and sandwich rolls are considered ready-made products and therefore must be cooked or prepared with a fresh, raw, or whole ingredient, in a creditable amount, in order to qualify towards a freshly prepared onsite meal. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich, for example, would not qualify as there is not a fresh, raw, or whole ingredient; however, a peanut butter with 1/8 cup banana slices sandwich would qualify. Likewise, a deli sandwich would qualify if 1/8 of a cup of fresh vegetables, such as lettuce, tomato, peppers or cucumber slices were added to the sandwich. Note that sandwiches, whether cold or hot, must be assembled in house and cannot come fully assembled prior to adding a fresh, raw or whole ingredient.

  7. Do grab and go salads count towards the 40 percent FPOM?

    Senate Bill 114 (Education Finance: omnibus trailer bill) revised the definition of FPOM to include meals that are “cooked or prepared.” This allows for uncooked entrees and other meal components to count towards a freshly prepared onsite meal.

    Salads made completely of fresh, raw, whole ingredients can qualify using the first approach of “whole ingredients in their most basic, minimally processed form.” Salads with toppings such as pre-cooked breaded chicken, ready-made croutons, or deli meats qualify using the second approach “cooking or preparing both fresh, raw, whole ingredients and ready-made products” as the breaded chicken, deli meat and croutons are considered ready-made products and the remaining salad vegetables are considered minimally processed. When salad bars are used, fresh, raw whole ingredients and ready-made products may be available on the salad bar for a qualifying freshly prepared onsite meal component.

  8. We are using dough pucks for our scones and biscuits. How do these contribute to a freshly prepared onsite meal?

    Muffins, biscuits, cinnamon rolls, croissants, scones, bread and rolls made in house from scratch, mix, prepared dough, and dough pucks are considered minimally processed items and can therefore be served as a stand-alone item and count towards a freshly prepared onsite meal.

    Commercially prepared dough and dough pucks are considered a raw ingredient when cooked or prepared in combination with ready-made products for the purposes of qualifying a meal component using the second approach, “cooking or preparing both fresh, raw, whole ingredients and ready-made products.”

  9. Can I add cheese to a ready-made pizza and qualify it as a freshly prepared onsite meal?

    No. When served alone, such as a cheese stick, cheese is considered minimally processed and qualifies as a freshly prepared onsite meal component. When cheese is a part of a combination food, it is considered a ready-made product. This means that it must be “cooked or prepared with fresh, raw, or whole ingredients” in the minimum creditable amount in order to qualify towards a freshly prepared onsite meal. Adding cheese to a ready-made product does not qualify it as a freshly prepared onsite meal.

  10. Can I add cheese to a sandwich prepared in-house and qualify it as freshly prepared onsite meal?

    Cheese when added to an entree is considered a ready-made ingredient. In the case of a sandwich, bread is also considered ready-made. As a result the sandwich must meet the second approach to qualifying a freshly prepared onsite meal, which is “cooking or preparing with both fresh, raw, whole ingredients and ready-made products.” Therefore, a fresh, raw, whole ingredient must be added in the minimum creditable amount to qualify this entre towards a freshly prepared onsite meal.

  11. Would “Assorted Cereals” entrée count as one meal towards the freshly prepared onsite meal percentage or do I need to add up each cereal as a separate entrée?

    The “Assorted Cereals” entrée would be counted as one meal towards the freshly prepared onsite meal percentage since students are asked to choose one cereal choice. Note that ready-made cereal will not qualify as a freshly prepared onsite meal as this is not consistent with the intent of the legislation.

  12. If we sell a la cart items that are scratch made, does that count toward the weekly percentage for freshly prepared onsite meals? 

    No, only reimbursable school breakfast program and national school lunch meals count toward the weekly percentage for freshly prepared onsite meal.

  13. If a student receives a ready-made entrée such as ready-made chicken patty sandwich and also goes through the salad bar, will this count as a freshly prepared onsite meal?

    No, since the sandwich was served separately, and is not considered part of the salad bar it needs to be assessed as a stand-alone item and, in this case, the sandwich would not qualify as a freshly prepared onsite meal. The sandwich will need to be cooked or prepared with a fresh, raw, whole ingredient to be qualified as a freshly prepared onsite meal.

  14. How much ketchup do I need to serve to meet the minimum creditable amount?

    Condiments are not considered meal components and therefore do not contribute towards qualifying a meal as freshly prepared onsite.

  15. Can I purchase food items with freshly prepared onsite meal funds?

    No, freshly prepared onsite meal funds cannot be used to purchase food items. The funds must be used to support the planning and implementation of facility improvements and equipment upgrades to increase capacity for freshly prepared onsite meal preparation.

Allowable Uses of Funds

  1. What type of equipment can we purchase?

    Visit the Allowable Expenses tab of this web page and reference the list of Kitchen Infrastructure–Allowable Expenses for information on approved equipment purchases. If you have questions regarding a specific purchase and it is not listed in that document, please email KITfunds@cde.ca.gov with the name of the equipment and how it meets the purpose of these funds.

    Note that you may also use these funds for any eligible items already purchased, repaired, or installed since the date that this funding was approved, July 1, 2022.

    These funds can also be used to repair existing equipment and to fund infrastructure improvements such as plumbing, electrical, and construction related to the categories of allowable expenses: cooking equipment and supporting infrastructure system needs; service equipment; refrigeration and storage and transportation of ingredients, meals, and equipment between sites. In addition, 2022 KIT funds can also be used for food service staff training and to provide additional compensation for additional work relating to serving universal school meals that may include minimally processed, locally and sustainably grown foods, a plant-based or restricted diet food option, or a plant-based milk option.

    Note that the funding received in return for serving 40 percent freshly prepared onsite meals weekly cannot be used to purchase food items.

  2. Can LEAs use these funds to fulfill kitchen infrastructure and training needs in order to prepare for the implementation of the Universal Meals Program?

    Yes. LEAs are strongly encouraged to review their potential needs for kitchen equipment and associated infrastructure, as well as any service, refrigeration, storage, or transportation needs to support meal service initiation or expansion associated with the Universal Meals Program. Additionally, LEAs are also strongly encouraged to review the potential and allowable training topics that will build skills that will both promote nutritious meals and support the implementation of California’s Universal Meals Program.

  3. What type of training can we provide?

    KIT 2022 funds can only be used for food service staff to receive training that meets the purpose of these funds.

    Visit the Allowable Expenses tab of this web page and reference the list of Food Service Staff Training–Allowable Expenses for approved training topics. If you have questions regarding a specific training that is not listed in that document, please email KITfunds@cde.ca.gov and provide the training content and how it relates to the purpose of these funds.

  4. Can I use allotted funds for kitchen infrastructure and training?

    All funding can be used for kitchen infrastructure, equipment, training, or to provide additional compensation for additional work related to serving universal school meals. For ease of tracking food service expenditures, it is strongly recommended to pay all food service staff salaries from Fund 13, and then reimburse Fund 13 with KIT Funds versus paying staff salaries directly from KIT Funds.

    Note that LEAs receiving funds based on an attestation that 40 percent of meals will be freshly prepared onsite beginning in the 2023–24 school year must ensure that this benchmark is met regardless of how funds are spent.

  5. Can other staff attend the food service staff training?

    These funds are exclusively for food service staff that are employees of the LEA. If other staff, or contracted food service staff, attend trainings, these funds can cover only the prorated cost of the training based on the proportion of LEA food service staff in attendance.

  6. Can we use 2022 KIT funds to pay for staff time for trainings provided outside of work hours, such as before the school year starts, during breaks, or on evenings or weekends?

    Yes. KIT training funds can be used to pay for staff time associated with trainings conducted both during a typical work day, as well as trainings conducted outside of normal work hours. For ease of tracking food service expenditures, it is strongly recommended to pay all food service staff salaries from Fund 13, and then reimburse Fund 13 with KIT Funds versus paying staff salaries directly from KIT Funds.

  7. How can we use 2022 KIT funds to pay for staff time for trainings provided during work hours?

    When KIT-funded trainings are provided during work time, local educational agencies (LEAs) can use the KIT training funds to pay for staff salaries for the time and staff attending the KIT-funded training, or the KIT training funds can be used to pay for substitute staff that assume staff duties while staff are attending the trainings, but KIT training funds cannot be used to pay for both the staff and the substitute hours.

    As a reminder, LEAs are responsible for the proper tracking and accounting for both federal and state funds associated with staff time and substitutes. KIT funds must be used to supplement, and not supplant, any federal funds made available through the Child Nutrition Programs. For ease of tracking food service expenditures, it is strongly recommended to pay all food service staff salaries from Fund 13, and then reimburse Fund 13 with KIT Funds versus paying staff salaries directly from KIT Funds.

  8. Can 2022 KIT funds be used to pay staff for the development and delivery of the training?

    Yes. If internal staff are providing the training, KIT training funds may be used to fund staff costs to develop and present the training; in this instance, it is important to ensure that only one funding source, federal or state funding, is charged for this time. For ease of tracking food service expenditures, it is strongly recommended to pay all food service staff salaries from Fund 13, and then reimburse Fund 13 with KIT Funds versus paying staff salaries directly from KIT Funds.

    As a reminder, LEAs are responsible for the proper tracking and accounting for both federal and state funds associated with staff time and substitutes. KIT funds must be used to supplement, and not supplant, any federal funds made available through the Child Nutrition Programs.

  9. Can 2022 KIT funds be used to provide training that include staff of a Food Service Management Company (FSMC)?

    Yes, KIT funds must be used to train LEA food service staff. FSMC staff may attend if there is no resulting additional cost to the training.

    KIT training funds cannot be awarded to an existing FSMC to provide training if training is already a part of an existing contract. Any KIT-funded training provided by an FSMC must be above and beyond current contracted activities and trainings.

  10. Can 2022 KIT funds be used to meet Professional Standards requirements?

    Yes, training that fulfills the KIT training purpose, and also address the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) professional standards learning objectives External link opens in new window or tab. for school nutrition professionals, can be paid for using KIT funds.

    Time spent in trainings that fulfill the purpose of the KIT training funds may also be counted towards the professional standards training requirements of USDA as applicable.

    If an eligible staff member is enrolled in a college degree program, KIT training funds cannot be used to pay for a degree program. However, KIT training funds can be used to pay for individual college courses that also meet the purpose of the KIT training funds.

  11. Can KIT funds pay for travel?

    Yes, KIT training funds can be used for applicable travel expenses (including, but not limited to, registration fees, airfare, car rental, meals, lodging etc.) within or outside of California in order to attend trainings that meet the purpose of the KIT training funds.

    Travel expenses must follow the organization’s policies and procedures and be reasonable and necessary.

  12. Can 2022 KIT funds be used to pay for consultants to provide training?

    Yes, KIT training funds can be used to pay consultants to provide training in both group settings and one on one. KIT funds cannot be used to pay consultants to do the work in place of food service staff; the consultants should instead provide training and services that build capacity of food service staff to do the job themselves.

  13. We have submitted our online registration and our anticipated expenditures differ from what we reported. Do we need to revise our registration?

    No. As long as the actual purchases are allowable, you do not need to resubmit your agency’s online registration form.

    For information about allowable expenditures, review the documents on the Resources tab of this web page. You may also send questions to KITfunds@cde.ca.gov.

  14. Is equipment purchased outside of the funding period allowed?

    Equipment must be purchased within the funding period of July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2025.

  15. Can sponsoring agencies purchase (or repair) and distribute equipment allowable under this funding to the individual NSLP or SBP sites under their sponsorship?

    Yes. Program sponsors are encouraged to consider the kitchen infrastructure needs of all participating NSLP and SBP sites under their sponsorship while making purchases with these funds. For example, a program sponsor can purchase finishing equipment for reheating cook chill foods, or additional storage such as freezers, at the meal sites under their sponsorship.

  16. Can 2022 KIT funds be used to pay for planning activities required for equipment purchase and/or installation?

    Yes. KIT funds can be used to pay for planning activities that support equipment purchases, such as architectural fees, blueprint drafting, preparing architectural scope of work.

  17. Can 2022 KIT funds be used to pay for extended warranties or service agreements?

    Yes. KIT funds can fund warranties and service agreements for equipment that would otherwise be allowable through this funding source.

  18. Can 2022 KIT funds and 2021 KIT funds be combined?

    Yes. KIT funds from 2021 and 2022 can be combined as long as the funds are used to purchase or repair items, provide supportive kitchen infrastructure, or fund trainings that are allowable under both funding streams. Ensure that you maintain proper accounting documentation for both funding streams. Keep in mind that 2021 KIT funds must be expended by June 30, 2024.

Reporting

  1. What if our equipment and training needs have changed since we submitted our opt-in survey?

    If equipment and training needs have changed since you submitted your opt-in survey, and they remain an allowable use of these funds, there is no requirement to contact the CDE or to submit a new survey response.

  2. What information will we submit to the CDE in the mandatory report?

    Participating LEAs will be asked to report to the CDE how they used the funding to improve the quality of school meals or increase participation in subsidized school meal programs. For the Kitchen Infrastructure funding, recipients will be asked to provide narrative responses to these questions as well as basic expenditure reports. Photos are appreciated and optional. For the training funds, recipients will be asked to provide narrative responses to these questions with respect to the training activities, as well as dates, training topics, and number of food service staff trained.

Contacts

KIT Fund Questions

Submit questions regarding this funding to KITfunds@cde.ca.gov.

Cafeteria Fund Expenditure Questions

To request approval for cafeteria fund expenditures, contact the Resource Management Unit at SNPCafeFundQuestions@cde.ca.gov.

School Nutrition Program (SNP) Analysts

For general questions regarding the SNP, contact your SNP Analyst on the CDE SNP Specialist Directory web page.

Resources

Kitchen Infrastructure and Training Orientation PowerPoint (PPTX)

2022 Kitchen Infrastructure and Training Freshly Prepared Onsite Meal (KIT FPOM) Overview PowerPoint

The PowerPoint slides for this training can be accessed in the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS) External link opens in new window or tab., Download Forms Section, Form ID NSD 2022 KIT FPOM Webinar Slides. If you do not have access to CNIPS, you can email KITfunds@cde.ca.gov to request the training slides.

Questions:   KITfunds@cde.ca.gov | 1-800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Thursday, December 21, 2023
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  • 2022 Kitchen Infrastructure and Training Funds
    The 2022 Kitchen Infrastructure and Training (KIT) Funding allocations provide eligible local educational agencies with additional state funds to purchase equipment and upgrades to kitchen infrastructures and offer food service staff training.
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