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Updated Guidance: Contracting with Food Service Management

EO Guidance Document #
FNS Document #
SP40 CACFP12 SFSP14-2016
Resource type
Policy Memos
Guidance Documents
Resource Materials
PDF Icon Policy Memo (64.46 KB)
DATE: June 2, 2016
POLICY MEMO: SP 40-2016, CACFP 12-2016, SFSP 14-2016
SUBJECT: Updated Guidance: Contracting with Food Service Management Companies
TO: Regional Directors
Special Nutrition Programs
All Regions
State Directors
Child Nutrition Programs
All States

Attached is the updated guidance for state agencies and school food authorities (SFA) contracting with food service management companies (FSMC). The updated guidance for state agencies includes information on appropriate procurement methods, considerations when using prototype solicitations, the process of evaluating and scoring criteria for contract award, and monitoring responsibilities. The guidance also includes contract amendments to be avoided, unacceptable contract provisions, and how to address conflicting contract terms.

The updated guidance for SFAs includes responsibilities and considerations when using an FSMC and addresses program oversight and monitoring. Additionally, this guidance discusses factors to consider when choosing procurement methods, how to develop solicitation documents, and characteristics of comprehensive agreements to include meal service and financial provisions.

New appendices include worksheets, sample instructions, and checklists designed to assist state agencies and SFAs when contracting with FSMCs. Changes and additions to the guidance have been highlighted in yellow.

State agencies are reminded to distribute this memorandum to program operators. Program operators should direct any questions concerning this guidance to their state agency. State agencies with questions should contact the appropriate FNS regional office.

Sarah E. Smith-Holmes
Program Monitoring and Operational Support Division
Child Nutrition Programs


Page updated: April 07, 2023

The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.