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FY 2020 National School Lunch Program Equipment Assistance Grants for School Food Authorities

EO Guidance Document #
FNS Document #
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Policy Memos
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PDF Icon SP17-2020 Memo (278.92 KB)
PDF Icon State Allocations (102.79 KB)
DATE:May 13, 2020
MEMO CODE:SP 17-2020
SUBJECT:FY 2020 National School Lunch Program Center Equipment Assistance Grants for School Food Authorities1
TO:Regional Directors
Special Nutrition Programs
All Regions
State Directors
Child Nutrition Programs
All States

The purpose of this memorandum is to distribute $30 million provided by the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2020, (PL 116-94), to state agencies to competitively award Equipment Assistance Grants to eligible school food authorities participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). This memorandum and attachments provide guidance on the specific terms and conditions, funding goals, period of performance, and timelines for these grants.

Grant Awards

State agencies competitively award subgrants to local educational agencies and schools to purchase equipment, with a value of greater than $1,000, needed to serve healthier meals, improve food safety, and to help support the establishment, maintenance, or expansion of the School Breakfast Program.

State agencies may consider any SFA eligible to receive a grant award. Selection criteria factors that state agencies may consider include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Age of food service equipment or lack of appropriate items
  • The availability of existing state and local funding for equipment purchases
  • Strategies for adopting lunchroom changes that provide more convenience and appeal to the student
  • Opportunities to realize meaningful impacts on nutrition and quality of meals

State agencies must submit a copy of the Request for Application (RFA) to their respective Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) regional program office for prior approval. The RFA must include all applicable terms and conditions both at the federal and state level (government-wide and USDA requirements).


For the funding available in FY 2020, FNS used the state administrative expense allocation formula to fully issue the available $30 million to state agencies. Refer to the state agency funding allocation attachment.

A state agency may not use more than five percent of its allocation for administrative costs associated with awarding grants to eligible SFAs.

Funding Goals

As with all federal grant funds, procurement regulations at 7 CFR Part 210.21 and 2 CFR Part 200.317-326 applies, and equipment competitively procured using these grant funds must be necessary, reasonable, and allocable.

State agencies’ NSLP Equipment Assistance Grant announcements to SFAs must highlight the requirement to follow all federal, state, and local procurement laws when purchasing equipment with these grant awards.

Period of Performance

The performance period for these grants will end Sept. 30, 2022.

Award/Award Timeline

State agencies are responsible for completing the FNS-529, submitting a Request for Application (RFA), and must agree to the Standard Terms and Conditions. Once submitted and approved by the regional office, the state agency will distribute the RFA, review applications, award grants, and conduct monitoring. State agencies are expected to maintain all appropriate purchase records and make them available and ready for review upon request. This initial award phase should be completed by Sept. 30, 2021, including solicitation and obligation. Templates and instructions for completing these documents are attached.

SFAs that are unable to fully expend their grant amounts must return the unliquidated funds to the state agency. If these funds are returned to the state agency, the state agency may reallocate available funds (the returned funds and the funds not previously obligated to SFAs) to award the next applicant approved for an equipment grant that had not received funds during the initial competitive grant application process.

Funds returned to the state agency after Sept. 30, 2022 must be returned to FNS. State agencies must follow all standard policies and procedures to award these grants to the SFAs.


State agencies are required to electronically enter the quarterly and final financial status report (SF-425) into the Food Program Reporting System (FPRS). This report must be entered within 30 days after the close of each quarter. The final financial report must be entered into FPRS within 90 days of the expiration of the grant agreement. This report must also be certified by the recipient’s chief fiscal officer or an officer of comparable rank. State agency staff that do not already have access to the CN-NSLPE Program in FPRS, will need to submit an FNS-674 to their regional office point-of-contact.

Questions regarding this memo should be directed to the appropriate regional office. Regional office questions should be directed to the child nutrition program monitoring and operational support division.

Sarah E. Smith-Holmes
Program Monitoring and
Operational Support Division
Child Nutrition Programs
Lynn Rodgers-Kuperman
Acting Director
Grants and Fiscal Policy Division

Related NSLP Equipment Assistance Grants Information

1 Pursuant to the Congressional Review Act (5 USC 801 et seq.), the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs designated this waiver as not major, as defined by 5 USC 804(2).

Page updated: March 25, 2024

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.