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Contracting for School Food Service Programs
INFORMATIONAL LETTER NO: 90
TO: Superintendents of Schools/Private School Administrators
Please Forward to Food Service Directors and Business Managers
School Administrative Units (SAUs) interested in contracting out their Food Service Program should be aware of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) requirements.
Food Service can be contracted out under certain conditions. A Manual and Maine Contract template are provided online for assistance at http://www.maine.gov/education/sfs/fsmc.html .
Food Service Management Companies (FSMCs) can manage the food part of the program. However, overall responsibility is with the SAU. Parts of the program such as the Free and Reduced Price Meal process, verification, and claim approval cannot be delegated to the Food Service Management Company.
To start the process, careful evaluation of the Food Service Program is needed. The process must include a bid format. The bid must include the program and product specification. It must include a twenty-one day cycle menu. Any person assisting or delegating the bid is not eligible to compete for the bid. Contracts are for one-year periods with renewals.
School Food Authorities (SFAs) must comply with existing Federal, State and local procurement requirements when obtaining the services of a FSMC. Federal procurement requirements appear at 7 CFR Part 3016.36 and 3019.40. The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) regulations appear at 7 CFR Part 210, the School Breakfast Program (SBP) regulations appear at 7 CFR Part 220, the Special Milk Program for Children (SMP) regulations appear at 7 CFR Part 215 and regulations for the distribution of donated foods appear at 7 CFR Part 250. This guidance presents an overview of the Federal standards for SFAs and State Agencies (SAs). As provided in 7 CFR 210.19(e), SAs may impose additional requirements that meet or exceed the required Federal standards. Additionally, State and local procurement standards take precedence over those suggested practices set forth in this guidance which are not required by Federal regulations. A SFA should contact its SA for guidance before entering into any procurement of FSMC services.
If you have any questions, please contact Walter Beesley at firstname.lastname@example.org or (207) 624-6875.
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