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Equipment Assistance Grants

Equipment Assistance Grants are specifically intended to help SFAs purchase commercial equipment for use in storing, preparing and/or serving nutritious meals to students that participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).  Funds are appropriated (amount varies) and made available to the state agency for sub-grants for equipment purchases in eligible schools and sites in traditional, charter and non-public schools and residential child care institutions operating the NSLP.

Announcement Letter

How To Apply

Request for Applications/Proposals -  Required to complete the application/proposal process.

Grant Application - School Food Authority (SFA) Summary page

Application Deadline:  To be announced should funds become available.

Staff Contacts: Jacquelyn McGowan
Tara Tyson

Who is Eligible?

SFAs eligible to apply for grants include: 

  • those operating in compliance with current Federal Regulations (no outstanding corrective actions from an Administrative Review) with fewer than three months operating balance.
  • fifty percent of students enrolled in the school/site must be eligible for free or reduced price meals
  • or, the school must participate (with a relatively high Identified Student Percentage) in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP).

Grant Awardee Considerations:
While schools/sites must justify the need for the equipment grant, priority will be given to:

  1. schools with limited access to other resources to support the purchase of equipment,
  2. schools with the need for replacement equipment as a result of old equipment that no longer effectively nor efficiently serves the program, and
  3. schools that have not been awarded an Equipment Assistance Grant in the past.

Things to consider for grant application:
Grants will be awarded for commercial equipment that is defined as “nonexpendable, tangible property with a useful life of more than one year and a per unit acquisition cost of $5,000”.   Grants will only be awarded for equipment valued at $5,000 or more.  Given the limited amount of funds available to the agency and the commitment to distribute these funds as equitably as possible, we encourage SFAs to be realistic in their requests.  Based on this recommendation, if an SFA would like to request a “partial grant” with the plan of using other SFA funds to purchase a larger piece of equipment, you may do so.   For example, a single request for $40,000 is unlikely to be successful, but a partial grant in the amount of $20,000 is much more likely to be successful and that amount can defray the overall cost of the equipment.

SFAs must use their individual School Nutrition Procurement Plan to determine whether a formal or informal purchasing method is indicated and all procurement documents, including the solicitation and the vendor’s bid/quote must be submitted with the application/proposal packet.  All funds must be fully expended by September 1, 2017.  Funds not fully paid to the vendor by this date will be returned to the USDA.

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