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Commercial Dishwasher Grant

Availability of the Commercial Dishwasher Grant Request for Applications

Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin

Purpose: Action Required, Beneficial Information

To: Public School Districts, Direct-funded Charter Schools, and County Superintendents of Schools

Attention: County/District Superintendents, Food Service Directors, and Chief Business Officials

Number: SNP-04-2024

Date: March 2024

Reference: Assembly Bill 102 Budget Act of 2023 Section 197 Item 6100-203-0001 and Provision 13

Subject: Availability of the Commercial Dishwasher Grant Request for Applications

This management bulletin announces the availability of the Commercial Dishwasher Grant (CDG) Request for Applications. The application deadline is 5 p.m. Pacific Daylight Savings Time (PDST), April 3, 2024.


On July 10, 2023, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill (AB) 102 (Budget Act of 2023) into law. This law provides $15 million from the State of California’s General Fund to fund the creation of this one-time, competitive CDG. The purpose of the CDG is to promote single-use waste reduction and to transition schools to safe, reusable food service ware. Eligible local educational agencies (LEAs) are defined as public school districts, county offices of education, and direct-funded charter schools that sponsor the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or School Breakfast Program (SBP). LEAs may apply for funding for no more than five school sites; sites awarded may receive up to $40,000 to support the purchase of an energy-efficient commercial dishwasher and/or costs directly related to installation. LEAs eligible for this grant will be called school food authorities (SFA).

Who Can Apply?

Public school districts, county offices of education, and direct-funded charter schools that sponsor the NSLP or SBP may apply for the CDG. SFAs may receive up to $40,000 per school site for no more than five sites, with a maximum total award of $200,000. The SFA must administer the NSLP or SBP at the site(s) submitted for consideration and be in good standing for all California Department of Education (CDE)-administered Child Nutrition Programs (CNP) that they operate. Once online applications are submitted, application and site changes will not be permitted.

Application and Application Deadline

Applicants must complete and submit the online CDG application at before the deadline. The CDE will only accept online applications. The CDE will not:

  • Consider any applications received after the posted grant application deadline
  • Process incomplete applications
  • Accept placeholder applications
  • Accept faxed, mailed, or emailed applications

The CDG application is due no later than 5 p.m. PDST, Wednesday, April 3, 2024. All applications received after the deadline will be ineligible for funding. Instructions for completing the CDG online application are available in the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS) Applications Tab, Download Forms, Form ID Instructions, Commercial Dishwasher Grant Application Instructions.

Application Scoring Rubric

The CDE will score all site applications individually and award grants competitively based on a comprehensive scoring criteria matrix. The maximum number of points awarded per site is 100. In the case of a tied score, the grant will be awarded to the site(s) with the highest free and reduced-price meal percentage eligibility during October 2022 as reported in DataQuest.

All SFA site applications will be scored based on the following criteria:

  1. Planned use of funds (up to 25 points): Per AB 102, funds may be used to purchase and install one energy-efficient commercial dishwasher per site. Funds must be used for energy-efficient commercial dishwashers that meet the Energy Star Product Specification Criteria for Commercial Dishwashers, Version 3.0. Each site will be awarded points for only one selection below:

    1. Request to purchase and/or install new equipment in a site that does not currently have a dishwasher at all or at a new location within a site (25 points)

    2. Replacement of commercial dishwasher in service at the site <15 years (10 points)

    3. Replacement of commercial dishwasher in service at the site ≥15 and <18 years (15 points)

    4. Replacement of commercial dishwasher in service at the site ≥18 years (20 points)

  2. Child Nutrition Program Participation during Summer 2023 (10 points): Points will be awarded for site participation in either the Seamless Summer Option or Summer Food Service Program during the Summer of 2023.

  3. Kitchen Infrastructure and Training (KIT) Funds Participation for School Years (SY) 2021–22 and 2022–23 (up to 20 points): Sites will be awarded points based on the SFA’s participation in each of the two KIT funding opportunities. Sites of SFAs that did not receive 2021 KIT funding will be awarded 10 points. Sites of SFAs that did not receive 2022 KIT funding will be awarded 10 points.

    To determine whether an SFA participated in these funding opportunities, review the General Fund and nonprofit food service account for the following standardized account code structure (SACS) resource codes:

    • 2021 KIT funds – SACS Resource Code 7028: Kitchen infrastructure and equipment; SACS Resource Code 7029: Food service staff training; Revenue Object Code: 8520

    • 2022 KIT funds – SACS Resource Code: 7032; Revenue Object Code: 8520

  4. Federal Equipment Assistance Grant (EAG) 2022 Participation (10 points): Sites will be awarded points based on site participation in EAG 2022. Sites that did not receive EAG 2022 funding will be awarded 10 points

  5. Single Use Food Service Ware Reduction Policies (20 points): District and Site-level Policies: Districts and sites that have approved written policies in place to reduce waste associated with single use food service ware items will be awarded points. The district policy must be approved at the district level by either the district Superintendent or School Board. The site policy must be approved by the site Principal or Administrator or ratified by the School Site Council at the time the application is submitted.

  6. California Green Ribbon Schools (10 points): Sites will be awarded points based on their application or award status for the California Green Ribbon Schools award during SYs 2017–2024. Both applicants and awardees will be awarded 10 points.

  7. Administrator Support (5 points): A letter of support for participation in the CDG is required from each site Principal or site Administrator. Letters of support must be attached and submitted with the application. Applications missing the letter of support will be deemed ineligible for an award.

    The letter of support must:
    • Confirm support for the CDG application and the reduction of single use food service ware items at the site.
    • Be written on site letterhead.
    • Be dated on or before the date of submission of the application.
    • Be signed (wet signatures and verified electronic signatures using Adobe Sign or similar product are accepted).

Good Standing

If an SFA is currently participating in any of the federal CNPs, they must be in good standing in the operation of those programs administered by the CDE and in compliance with all related regulations during the application process and at any time during the grant period. The criteria that the CDE considers in determining an agency’s good standing status can be accessed at

Grant Appeals

Applicants that wish to appeal a grant award decision must submit a letter of appeal to the CDE’s Nutrition Services Division (NSD). Grant appeals are limited to the grounds that the NSD failed to correctly apply the criteria for reviewing the application as specified in the request for applications.

Once applicants are notified that the grant awards are posted, agencies have 10 calendar days to contact the NSD to request information regarding the reason for the grant denial. For more information on grant appeals, please review the CDE Grant Appeals Procedure web page at


The CDE will award up to $15 million for this one-time grant opportunity. SFAs may apply for funding for no more than five school sites, with a maximum award of $40,000 per site and $200,000 per SFA. Grant Award Notifications (GAN) will be emailed to the Superintendent or highest ranking official and must be completed and electronically signed (via Adobe Sign) before grant funds can be disbursed.

The CDE will release 90 percent of the grant funds at the time of the award and the remaining 10 percent upon satisfaction of the grant’s terms and conditions. By January 5, 2026, the CDE will recover unencumbered funds as well as funds awarded to agencies that do not fulfill the terms and conditions of this grant.

There are no cost sharing or matching funds requirements. This Request For Applications, and subsequent awards, are contingent upon the availability of funds.

Tracking Funding

SFAs awarded CDG funds should not obligate or expend funds until the funds have been received and deposited into the SFA’s account. However, SFAs are encouraged to begin developing an internal plan and process to help prepare for these expenditures.

Once an SFA receives the CDG funds, they are encouraged to deposit them into the agency’s general fund account. The CDG funds should be accounted for and tracked separately from the nonprofit school food service account, also known as the cafeteria fund or Fund 13. If CDG funds are deposited into Fund 13, CDG funds will assume the rules governing the cafeteria fund, which will result in fewer flexibilities for use.

SFAs are required to maintain documentation supporting CDG expenditures, such as the vendor’s invoice or receipt. An invoice has a unique invoice number on it and is signed by an SFA representative per their procurement policies. Purchase orders and packing lists may not be used in lieu of invoices or receipts.

Supplementing the CDG Award

SFAs may supplement the CDG award with additional funds as needed. SFAs do not need to report the use of additional funds; however, SFAs are reminded to adhere to the requirements of each respective funding source.

Cafeteria funds can be used to supplement equipment purchases, but additional federal requirements must be met, including:

  • Written preapproval by the CDE;
  • Federal procurement requirements; and
  • Potential review by the CDE’s NSD during a School Nutrition Program Administrative Review.

Note: Costs associated with service system upgrades and modifications, such as plumbing and electrical, are unallowable uses of cafeteria funds. Cafeteria fund expenditures not in compliance with federal regulation may be subject to disallowance.

KIT funds may also be used to supplement CDG equipment purchases and associated infrastructure. If KIT funds are used, no preapproval is required as KIT funds are state funds and the CDG expenditures are consistent with the KIT fund allowable expenses, as listed on the CDE’s KIT funds web page at

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

To request approval for cafeteria fund expenditures, contact the Resource Management Unit staff at

Procurement Requirements

These funds are state General Fund monies. SFAs should follow all local procurement procedures. At a minimum, the SFA 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 the SFA’s procurement procedures and that promotes full and open competition
  • Complying with the SFA’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 including, but not 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


The CDE has created a new SACS resource code to help SFAs record the CDG Funds. SFAs should ensure that the revenue is deposited into the agency’s general fund using the resource code below:

  • SACS Resource Code: 7034
  • Revenue Object Code: 8520

Encumbrance Deadline

All funds issued as a part of the CDG must be encumbered within the designated grant period and by January 5, 2026. The official grant award start and end dates are included on the signed Grant Award Notification form AO-400. As a part of the final report, SFAs will submit the amount of funds that, as of the deadline, had not been encumbered. These funds must be returned to the CDE within 30 days of invoicing.

Definition of Commercial Dishwasher

Per the definition in statute and for the purposes of this grant, the CDE is establishing the Energy Star Product Specification Criteria for Commercial Dishwashers, Version 3.0 as the minimum standard for energy-efficient commercial dishwashers purchased with these funds. For Energy Star resources including the Product Finder, review the Energy Star Commercial Dishwashers web page at

Allowable Costs


  • Energy-efficient commercial dishwashers meeting the Energy Star Product Specification Criteria for Commercial Dishwashers, Version 3.0
  • Heat booster equipment
  • Venting equipment

Costs Directly Related to the Installation

The following costs are allowable costs when they are directly associated with the installation of an energy-efficient commercial dishwasher:

  • Appliance relocation
  • Drain installation or modification
  • Electrical upgrades or modifications
  • Equipment delivery fees
  • Floor repair
  • Heat booster equipment installation
  • Kitchen counter modification
  • Modification of work areas to accommodate a new layout or function of the space
  • Outlet installation and modification
  • Planning and design fees
  • Plumbing upgrades
  • Venting equipment installation
  • Wall repair

Unallowable Costs

  • Commercial dishwashers that do not meet the requirements
  • Costs associated with training
  • Costs not directly associated with either the purchase or installation of an energy-efficient commercial dishwasher
  • Use of funds awarded at a site other than the site awarded
  • Indirect costs
  • Costs associated with purchases and infrastructure costs incurred prior to the posting of the award notification
  • Costs associated with purchases and infrastructure costs incurred after the end of the performance period


The Energy Star Commercial Dishwashers web page includes a find and compare feature:

Some utility service providers offer energy-efficiency services to their commercial food service partners, which includes schools. Services provided may include energy audits, design assistance, and demonstrations.

Frequently Asked Questions


Can we change the school site after our application is awarded?

Once applications are submitted, school site changes will not be permitted. If an awarded site is not able to implement the activities in the grant, the funds must be returned to the CDE.


Do I need to submit the quote(s) for the equipment expenditures with the grant application?

No. Applicants will need to provide the dollar amounts requested for purchases and other allowable costs related to installation. For equipment purchases, the amount requested must be based on at least one quote. Quotes are not submitted as a part of the application but should be maintained on file and provided to the CDE should they be requested.

My SFA has a Budget Agreement. Can I apply for the CDG funds?

Yes. With CDG funds, SFAs can implement infrastructure projects associated with the installation of an energy-efficient commercial dishwasher. Costs associated with service system upgrades and modifications, such as plumbing and electrical, are unallowable uses of cafeteria funds and, as a result, the CDG funds are an excellent complement. SFAs on budget agreements are encouraged to use cafeteria funds for allowable energy-efficient commercial dishwasher equipment purchases and to request CDG funds for infrastructure costs associated with its installation.


How do we know how much funding we will receive?

SFAs that are awarded the CDG funds may receive up to forty thousand dollars ($40,000) per school site kitchen within the SFA, for a maximum of five sites and two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000).

The funding amounts will be posted on the CDE Funding Results web page, accessed at

What if the proposed project exceeds $40,000 in total costs? Do we need to provide information on the sources of local funding that will be used to support the project?

SFAs may supplement the CDG award with additional funds as needed. SFAs do not need to report the use of additional funds as a part of the application; however, SFAs are reminded to adhere to the requirements of each respective funding source. If the CDG funds are being used in concert with other funds to complete the purchase or installation, SFAs must ensure appropriate attribution of funds based on the requirements of the supporting funding sources, ensure costs are attributed to only one funding source, and adhere to the associated record keeping requirements.

Do I need to ask permission to make a purchase once the CDG funds are awarded?

Once the CDG funds are awarded, no permission is needed by CDE to purchase or install equipment or infrastructure as submitted in the grant at the awarded site. If the CDG funds are being used in concert with other funds to complete the purchase or installation, SFAs must adhere to the associated requirements of those funds.

KIT funds can be used for equipment purchases and installation costs. Fund 13, or cafeteria funds, may be used to support the purchase and installation of dishwashers. However, all existing utility connections must be adequate and within the area of installation per manufacturer’s requirements. If utility connections or service systems (e.g., plumbing, electrical) require an upgrade or modification, these would be considered district costs that must be paid for using nonfederal funds. (For Reference: SNP-05-2020: Cafeteria Funds—Allowable Uses at As dishwashers are on the allowable list of equipment, grantees using cafeteria funds to supplement CDG funds do not need permission for dishwasher purchases. Cafeteria fund questions may be directed to

We have submitted our grant application and have determined that another type of Energy Star commercial dishwasher will serve our school needs better. Can we change our equipment?

Yes, if, after being awarded, your school determines that a machine other than the one listed in the application better suits your needs, you may purchase an alternate energy-efficient commercial dishwasher that meets the ENERGY STAR® Program Requirements Product Specification for Commercial Dishwashers Eligibility Criteria Version 3.0 (Rev. – September 2021). Note that the total amount awarded through the Commercial Dishwasher Grant will not change. If needed, you may choose to supplement this project with an additional source of funds, as addressed above. If the alternate dishwasher results in cost savings, those funds may be applied towards associated and allowable installation costs for that dishwasher only.

How are rebates factored into the equipment grant?

The cost of the item should include any rebates, discounts, or credits for the equipment purchase and must be subtracted from the total cost.

Can these funds be used to rent an energy-efficient commercial dishwasher?

No. The legislation specifies funds are for purchase and costs directly associated with the installation of an energy-efficient commercial dishwasher only.


Can noncompetitive purchases be made with this funding?

SFAs must follow all state and local procurement requirements. For information on state procurement requirements, visit the CDE’s Procurement in CNPs web page at or email


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

Participating SFAs will be required to report qualitative and quantitative information to the CDE. SFAs will report equipment purchases, report and summarize associated installation costs, provide photos, and submit narrative responses detailing the impact the CDG has had on their CNP meal service and the actual or planned reduction in single use food service ware. Invoices will be maintained on file for three years plus the current year and must be submitted to the CDE upon request.


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Questions:   Commercial Dishwasher Grant |
Last Reviewed: Thursday, April 04, 2024
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