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2021 NSLP Equipment Assistance Grant

Availability of the 2021 NSLP Equipment Assistance Grant Request for Application.

Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin

Purpose: Action Required, Beneficial Information

To: Public School Districts, Direct Funded Charter Schools, County Superintendents of Schools, Private Schools, and Residential Child Care Institutions

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

Number: SNP-05-2021

Date: September 2021

Reference: U.S. Department of Agriculture Policy Memorandum SP-13-2021

Subject: Availability of the 2021 National School Lunch Program Equipment Assistance Grant

This management bulletin announces the availability of the 2021 National School Lunch Program (NSLP) Equipment Assistance Grants (EAG). The application deadline is 4 p.m. on Tuesday, December 14, 2021.


In June 2021, the Consolidated Appropriations Act authorized the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to allocate California approximately $3.62 million to competitively award eligible school food authorities (SFA) EAGs. The grant funding is designed to help schools serve healthier meals, provide meal service during disaster (pandemic or natural disaster), improve food safety, and to help support the establishment, maintenance, or expansion of the School Breakfast Program.

Who Can Apply?

Public school districts, county offices of education, directly funded charter schools, private schools, and residential child care institutions that participate in the NSLP can apply for grant funding. Any of the above qualifying local agencies previously approved for the NSLP, and would otherwise be operating NSLP in School Year 2021–22, may apply for the EAG while using the flexibilities granted under the Seamless Summer Option. Each SFA may apply for no more than five sites with up to $100,000 per SFA.

Grant Criteria

This grant is competitive. Detailed scoring criteria is available on the Equipment Assistance Grant Scoring Criteria web page at

SFAs should keep the following criteria in mind when applying for the equipment grant:

  • First time applicantsthe NSD will give priority to SFA sites that have not received an EAG during the 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 EAG.

  • Effectiveness of equipment purchased—the NSD will give priority to SFAs that explicitly document how the equipment they purchase will reflect the intent of the grant. SFAs must provide a narrative with specific emphasis on the focus areas detailed in the scoring criteria, which is available on the CDE Request for Application (RFA) 2021 NSLP EAG web page at

  • Excess net cash resources (NCR)—the NSD may consider SFAs with excess NCR to be ineligible to receive an EAG. In accordance with Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations (7 CFR), Section 210.14(b), an SFA shall limit its NCR to an amount that does not exceed three month average expenditures of its food service account. SFAs with excess NCR must give a detailed explanation in their application for their excess NCR.

  • SFAs must be in good standing in all Child Nutrition Programs in which they operate.

Definition of Equipment

Equipment requests may include new or renovated equipment. For purposes of this grant, the NSD may award equipment with a per unit cost of $1,000 or more.

It is also permissible for SFAs to set their own lower capitalization threshold for equipment. In such cases, an SFA can purchase a piece of equipment at a lower cost that meets or exceeds that SFA’s capitalization threshold. SFAs with a lower capitalization threshold must include in their application an official board or district policy granting the lower threshold. The NSD will assign the federal threshold of $1,000 to SFAs that do not submit an official policy of a lower capitalization threshold at the time of application.

Application Deadline

The CDE must receive completed EAG applications before 4 p.m. on Tuesday, December 14, 2021. The CDE will only accept online applications. The online application is available on the CDE RFA 2020 NSLP EAG web page at

The CDE will not:

  • Accept any applications received after 4 p.m. on Tuesday, December 14, 2021
  • Process incomplete or late applications
  • Accept placeholder applications
  • Accept faxed, mailed submissions, or submissions sent by email

You can access the application and additional information on the 2021 NSLP EAG Funding web page at


The CDE will provide EAGs as long as funds are available, distributing up to 90 percent of the grant at the time of the award and the remaining 10 percent upon approval of all invoices. The CDE will recover funds from SFAs that do not submit invoices for approved budget items by September 1, 2023. There are no cost sharing or matching funds requirements.

Sole Source

In rare situations, if your SFA is purchasing unique equipment, obtaining three quotes may not be possible. The purchase might fall under the category of sole source, where a particular vendor or manufacturer is the only entity from which you can purchase a unique piece of equipment. In this unique situation, you must reach out to the NSD EAG team prior to issuing a purchase order and receive written approval. You can contact the Equipment Grant Team by email at

Procurement Requirements

Federal procurement regulations located in 2 CFR, Part 200, and 7 CFR, Part 210, apply to this grant. The SFA is responsible for ensuring that their procurement and contracts comply with all applicable laws, regulations, program instructions, and guidance materials, which SFA officials should review carefully and understand. The SFA should consult with their own legal counsel regarding any proposed procurement methods or contract language.


SFAs that are awarded and accept this grant award must comply with the USDA Food and Nutrition Service Standard Terms and Conditions. The Terms and conditions can be found on the USDA Fiscal Year 2021 NSLP EAG for SFAs web page, External link opens in new window or tab., Attachment 2.

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding this subject, you can contact the EAG Team by email at

Kim Frinzell, Director

Nutrition Services Division

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Thursday, January 26, 2023
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