Financial information is available for all child nutrition programs including income guidelines, reimbursement rates and expenses. In addition, the USDA and the Maine Department of Education provide guidance to help school districts submit and review reports that participate in the National School Lunch Program.
- Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Numbers
- Federal Meal Reimbursement Rates and Eligibility Guidelines - Current and previous years reimbursement rates, eligibility guidelines, and USDA food rates as well as the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance.
- Food Service Management Companies - Samples of food service management contract as well as state and federal regulations pertaining to food service managment companies in the school meals programs.
- MealPerWorkerHourTool - Labor and staffing spreadsheet used during a review for labor evaluation. It is a guidance document and should be done regularly to determine an adequate MPWH for each kitchen.
- Student and Adult Pricing and Charging - Information and guidance for student and adult pricing, bad debt, unallowable costs, and the most recent meal prices for districts across the state.
- Unpaid Meal Charges - Meal Charging, Outstanding Debts and Collection Procedures.
There are three binding principles to good procurement.
- Purchase with as much free and open competition possible.
This means publicizing the solicitation to largest area possible.
Written specifications are not overly restrictive.
- Responsive Vendors
Vendor meets the terms of the solicitation.
Vendor has experience, facilities and financial resources.
- Responsible Vendors
Vendor is capable of performing under terms and conditions of contract.
There are 4 basic methods to purchase products for the National School Lunch Program.
- Micro purchases are purchases less than $10,000. These do not require competitive quotes, but do require you to distribute the purchases around with different suppliers. Documentation, such as copies of invoices, must be kept to demonstrate the purchases have been shared among suppliers.
- Small purchases are purchases less than the district or Federal small purchase threshold of $250,000 (whichever is lower). Quotes are required but do not need to be formal. They can be emailed, oral, written, etc. and must be competitively shopped for.
- Formal purchases are any purchase greater than the small purchase threshold. This requires a formal bid process and a contract. There are several steps to this process and documentation is required. This includes “Invitation to Bid” and “Request for Proposal.”
- Noncompetitive Proposal – this is a method that should be seldom used. It can be used when there is inadequate or no competition and when the other purchasing methods are not applicable. Single source and public emergency may be considered noncompetitive. However, an emergency is not poor planning.
Procurement procedures are outlined in 2 CFR 200.320 and 7CFR 210 regulations.
- Informal Procurement Documentation Log (xls)
- Sample Code of Conduct (pdf)
- Sample Procurement Procedures and Code of Conduct Template (doc)
- Small Purchases Check List (pdf)
- USDA Procurement Regulations- Link to USDA
Resources and Guidance
- Excel at Marketing and Customer Service (pdf) Tri-State 2018 presentation
- Financial Management: A Course for School Nutrition Directors (link to ICN)
- Financial (Resource) Management-Why Effective Financial Management is Critical for Success as a Food Service Director (pdf) Tri-State 2018 presentation
- Indirect Costs Guidance for State Agencies & School Food Authorities (FNS) (pdf)
- Inventory Turnover Rate Calculation (xls)
- Unallowable Costs (pdf)
- Uncollected Payments (pdf)
School Food Service Funds
The monies in the non-profit school food service account are considered to be federal funds and their usage is strictly limited. The non-profit food service account is defined at 7 CFR 210.2 as:
Nonprofit school food service account means the restricted account in which all of the revenue from all food service operations conducted by the school food authority principally for the benefit of school children is retained and used only for the operation or improvement of the nonprofit school food service (emphasis added). This account shall include, as appropriate, non-Federal funds used to support paid lunches as provided in §210.14(e), and proceeds from non program foods as provided in §210.14(f).