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2018 NSLP Equipment Assistance Grants

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-14-2018

Date: August 2018

Reference: U.S. Department of Agriculture Policy Memorandum SP-17-2018

Subject: Availability of the 2018 National School Lunch Program Equipment Assistance Grants

This management bulletin announces the availability of the 2018 National School Lunch Program (NSLP) Equipment Assistance Grants (EAG). The application deadline is 4 p.m. Thursday, September 20, 2018.


In May 2018, the Agriculture Appropriations Act authorized the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to grant California approximately $3.5 million to competitively award eligible school food authorities (SFA) equipment assistance funding. This grant is designed to help schools serve healthier meals with a focus on serving more fruits and vegetables, improving food safety and energy efficiency, and expanding access.

USDA Policy Memoranda SP-17-2018, SP-34-2017, SP-25-2016, SP-26-2015, SP-14-2014, SP-23-2009, and SP-20-2009 provide additional information about the grant. The policy memos are on the USDA School Meals Policy web page at

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 this grant. Each SFA may apply for no more than five sites with up to $100,000 per SFA.

Grant Criteria

These grants are competitive, and detailed scoring criteria is available on the California Department of Education (CDE) Funding web page at

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

  • Free and reduced-price (F/RP) percentagethe Nutrition Services Division (NSD) will give priority to SFAs with a 50% or higher F/RP percentage.
  • First time applicantsthe NSD will give priority to SFA sites that did not receive an EAG in the past.
  • Effectiveness of equipment purchasedthe NSD will give priority to SFAs that explicitly document how the equipment they purchased will reflect the intent of the grant. SFAs must provide documentation with specific emphasis on the four focus areas detailed in the scoring criteria, which is available on the CDE Request for Application (RFA) 2018 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. Title 2, Code of Federal Regulations (2 CFR), Section 200.33, defines equipment as tangible personal property having a useful life of more than one year and a per-unit acquisition cost that equals or exceeds the federal capitalization threshold of $5,000. However, for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 EAG, Congress has authorized a lower threshold for the purchase of equipment. This lowered purchase threshold only applies to FY 2018 EAG funds and cannot be lower than $1,000.

It is also permissible for SFAs to set their own lower capitalization threshold. 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. Thursday, September 20, 2018. The CDE will only accept online applications. The online application is on the CDE RFA 2018 NSLP EAG web page at

The CDE will not:
  • Accept any applications received after 4 p.m. Thursday, September 20, 2018
  • 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 CDE Funding web page at

The CDE will provide EAGs as long as funds are available, distributing 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, 2019. There is 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 Title 2, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 200, and Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, 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 following regulations:

Government-wide Regulations
  • 2 CFR
    • Part 25: Universal Identifier and System of Award Managment
    • Part 170: Reporting Subaward and Executive Compensation Information
    • Part 175: Award Term for Trafficking in Persons
    • Part 180: Office of Management and Budget Guidelines to Agencies on Government-wide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement)
    • Part 200: Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards
    • Part 400: USDA Implementing Regulations Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards
    • Part 415: USDA General Program Administrative Regulations
    • Part 416: USDA General Program Administrative Regulations for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments
    • Part 417: USDA Nonprocurement Debarment and Suspension
    • Part 418: USDA New Restrictions on Lobbying
    • Part 421: Requirements for Drug-free Workplace (Financial Assistance)
    • Title 41, United States Code (U.S.C.) Section 22, Interest of Member of Congress
    • Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2009 (Public Law 110-417)
    • Sections 745 and 746 of the Consolidated and Appropriations Act, 2017 (Public Law 115-31)
    • The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act, 2006
Cost Principles
  • 2 CFR, Part 200: Subpart E, Cost Principles
USDA Regulations
  • 7 CFR, Part 15: Nondiscrimination
  • The Freedom of Information Act states that public access to federal financial assistance records shall not be limited, except when such records must be kept confidential and would have been excepted from disclosure pursuant to the Freedom of Information regulation (Title 5, U.S.C. Section 552)
Assurance of Civil Rights Compliance
  • 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, California Federal Regulation (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 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, you can contact the EAG team by email at


Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, June 18, 2019
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