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2017–18 CA-grown Fresh School Meals Grant

Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin

Purpose: Action Required, Beneficial Information

To: Public School Districts, Direct Funded Charter Schools, County Superintendents of Schools

Attention: Food Service Director, Business Official, and Chief Financial Officer

Number: SNP-14-2017

Date: January 2018

Subject: 2017–18 California-grown Fresh School Meals Grant Request for Applications

This Management Bulletin announces the availability of the 2017–18 California-grown Fresh School Meals Grant. School food authorities (SFA) must submit their application to the California Department of Education (CDE) no later than 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 1, 2018.


The California-grown Fresh School Meals Grant was established by an appropriation from the General Fund to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction in the amount of $1.5 million for Fiscal Year 2017–18.

The purpose of the California-grown Fresh School Meals Grants is to encourage schools participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) or School Breakfast Program (SBP) to purchase California-grown food, and to expand the number of freshly prepared school meals that use California-grown ingredients. SFAs must prepare school meals in accordance with the federal NSLP or SBP. Awardees may use grant funds to purchase California-grown foods, purchase equipment necessary to provide school meals to students, provide nutrition education to students, and provide professional development for relevant food service employees regarding the implementation of fresh and healthy school meals.

The CDE will award grants no less than $50,000 but not more than $125,000.

Who Can Apply?

Public school districts, county offices of education, and directly funded charter schools that participate in the NSLP can apply for this grant. Each SFA may apply for multiple sites for up to $125,000.

Grant Criteria

These grants are competitive, and detailed scoring criteria is available on the CDE Request for Application 2017 California-grown Fresh School Meals Grant Web page at

SFAs should use the following criteria when applying for the California-grown Fresh School Meals Grant:

  • New Grant Recipients: A site that has not received an SBP and Summer Food Service Program Start-up and Expansion Grant or Equipment Assistance Grant in the last three years
  • School Gardens: A site that will implement or currently uses a school garden and uses the food grown for school meals
  • Innovative Strategies: A site with innovative strategies to use California-grown foods in school meals (i.e., using produce from a local farm for the school salad bar, switching from frozen fish products to local caught fish, and/or buying local fruits and vegetables through joint contracting with other districts, etc.)
  • Partnerships: A site with community-based or nonprofit organization partnerships to provide California-grown food and/or equipment to prepare school meals using California-grown food

  • Professional Development: A site that offers professional development in promoting, preparing, and implementing California-grown healthy school meals for food service employees

Note: The following criteria applies to all SFAs.

  • The CDE will give priority to school sites with a high F/RP eligible percentage.
  • Excess Net Cash Resources (NCR): SFAs with excess NCR may be ineligible to receive a grant. 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 months’ average expenditures of its food service account. SFAs with excess NCR must give a detailed explanation in their application for their NCR
  • Good Standing: SFAs must be in good standing in all Child Nutrition Programs in which they operate. If an agency is currently participating in any of the federal child nutrition programs1, they must be in good standing in the operation of those programs administered by the California Department of Education (CDE) and in compliance with all related regulations during the application process and anytime during the course of the grant period. This means that an agency cannot be documented as having an open serious deficiency in its operation of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) or the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), and cannot have an active reimbursement hold in the School Nutrition Programs (SNP) related to nonsubmission of or unacceptable corrective action documentation (Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations [7 CFR], sections 226.6[c][3][iii], 225.11[c], and 210.24 respectively).

    1Afterschool meal supplements, At-risk afterschool meals, Child and Adult Care Food Program, Food Distribution Program, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, Special Milk Program, National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Seamless Summer Feeding Option, Summer Food Service Program; throughout this section, citations to applicable federal regulations are listed in the order that the programs are identified in the text.
Application Deadline

SFAs must submit a signed and dated hard copy of the grant application (with original signature) to the CDE by 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 1, 2018. SFAs may drop off completed application packets in the CDE lobby or may mail their application. The CDE will not process incomplete, late applications, or accept placeholder applications.

You can access the application and additional information on the CDE Request for Application 2017 California-grown Fresh School Meals Grant Web page at


The CDE will distribute 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 March 1, 2019.There is no cost sharing or matching fund requirements.

Assurance of Civil Rights Compliance discussed

Successful grantees, upon agreeing to accept grant funds, agree to the following assurances:

  • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title 42, U.S.C. 2000d et seq.), USDA regulations at Title 7, CFR, Part 15: Nondiscrimination, and Department of Justice regulations at Title 28, CFR, Part 42: Nondiscrimination; Equal Employment Opportunity: Policies and Procedures
  • Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title 20, U.S.C. 1681 et seq.) and USDA regulations at 7 CFR, Part 15a: Education Programs or Activities Receiving or Benefiting from Federal Financial Assistance
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Title 29, U.S.C. 1681 et seq.), USDA regulations at 7 CFR, Part 15a: Education Programs or Activities Receiving or Benefiting from Federal Financial Assistance, and Department of Justice regulations at Title 28, CFR, Part 41: Implementation of Executive Order 12250, Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Handicap in Federally Assisted Programs
  • The Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (Title 42, U.S.C. 6101 et seq.) states that the grantee assures that it will immediately take any measures necessary to effectuate the requirements in these laws, regulations, and directives. The grantee gives this assurance in consideration of and for the purpose of obtaining the funds provided under this agreement
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Title 42, U.S.C. 12101–12213)prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment (Title I), state and local government services (Title II), places of public accommodation and commercial facilities (Title III)
Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact Gina Stahlecker, SNP Program Specialist, by phone at 916-445-1640 or by e-mail at

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Friday, February 1, 2019
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