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Office of P-20 Education Policy
Child Nutrition Program Administration
89 Washington Avenue, Room 375 EBA, Albany, NY 12234
Phone: (518) 473-8781 Fax: (518) 473-0018

School Food Service Directors/Managers
Frances N. O'Donnell, Coordinator
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Competitive Procurement and Private Grants for School Food Programs

It has been brought to our attention that some schools may be applying for or participating in grant programs aimed at assisting schools with start-up and/or expansion, especially of the School Breakfast Program (SBP) and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). The foundations sponsoring the grants are associated with companies that provide goods and services to the school meal programs. Review of these grant programs revealed that at least some contain a mandatory purchasing component, requiring recipients to purchase and use a vendor's specified product for a stipulated amount of time.

This memorandum serves to remind school food authorities (SFAs) that they must comply with the requirements in 7 CFR 210.21, 220.16, and 225.17, as well as the requirements in 7 CFR 3016.36 and 3019.40-48 requiring that procurements are conducted in a competitive manner.

Due to the proprietary purchasing requirements imposed by these grant programs, an SFA would be unable to participate in the grant while adhering to all required program regulations, specifically those addressing procurement activities. SFAs that have already received such a grant must take immediate steps to either curtail the grant or to ensure that all purchases made as a result of the grant requirements come only from non-program funding sources. The SFA may not go forward with the grant purchasing requirements using nonprofit school foodservice account funds.

Please contact your representative at 518-473-8781 or immediately if you have one or more schools participating in a grant program in which you must purchase a specific vendor's product.

Thank you for your immediate attention to this issue.

USDA Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete a Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form which can be obtained online at:, from any USDA office, by calling (866) 632-9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by:

  1. mail:
    U.S. Department of Agriculture
    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
    1400 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or
  2. fax:
    (833) 256-1665 or (202) 690-7442; or
  3. email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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