Superintendent’s Memo #097-14
Revised June 3, 2014

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

April 18, 2014

TO:  Division Superintendents

FROM:  Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT:  Competitive Grant Application for National School Lunch Program (NSLP) Equipment Assistance Grants

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has received $465,823 in National School Lunch (NSLP) Equipment Assistance Grant funds from the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  These grant funds will be awarded through a competitive grant process to eligible school food authorities (SFAs) participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).    

Application (Attachment A):  Due Date Monday, June 23, 2014, by 5 p.m.
The grant application, instructions, detailed evaluation criteria, application submission timelines, and spending deadlines are available in Attachment A.  Consideration will be given to the SFAs’ justification for the equipment based on a number of factors outlined in the grant application. 
The completed grant application must be submitted by the school division and not by the individual schools.  No more than two items per site may be requested.

Division Number-Division Name-2014 Equipment Grant Application
For example:  001-Accomack-2014 Equipment Grant Application

Copies of support documentation for equipment prices for each piece of equipment requested must be submitted with the application (i.e., price quote from vendor).  If support documentation is not included with each school level application, the equipment request for that school will not be considered.

This competitive grant will be awarded by September 30, 2014.  All grant funds awarded must be spent by the school division by July 1, 2015. The NSLP Equipment Assistance Grant funds will be paid to awardees on a reimbursement basis.  Reimbursement will only be for the actual expenses up to the award amount.  The grant award document for those divisions selected to receive funds will provide details on how to request reimbursement.

School sites within a division that received funds from the previous NSLP Equipment Assistance Grant award in 2009 under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) or in 2011 are not eligible to compete for the new NSLP Equipment Assistance Grant funds.

The NSLP Equipment Assistance Grant funds are intended to assist schools to purchase the equipment needed to serve healthier meals, to meet the new nutritional standards for schools as required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, expand access to school breakfast or lunch and improve food safety.

In compliance with the statutory requirements, priority must be given to school sites in which 50 percent or more of the students are eligible for free or reduce priced meals, and are high-need schools (e.g., school in underserved areas, school with limited access to other resources, and age of food service equipment).

Equipment requests may include new equipment, renovation of equipment, or replacement of equipment.  The definition of equipment for the purpose of this NSLP equipment assistance grant is “…articles of nonexpendable, tangible personal property with a useful life of more than one year and a per unit acquisition cost of $5,000 (or such lesser amount as the SFA uses when reporting equipment as assets in its financial statements).” 1

All purchases must follow all applicable federal, state, and local procurement laws and regulations and provide for full and open competition, etc. (formal or small purchase procedures as appropriate).  As with all federal grant funds, equipment procured using NSLP Equipment Assistance Grant funds must be practical and allocable in order to be reasonable and permissible costs. Therefore, using these grant funds to purchase a walk-in freezer for school nutrition programs, or a salad bar, would be an allowable cost, whereas renovation of the food service area would fall under the category of construction costs, which is not an allowable cost to the school nutrition programs, and must be supported by the school division’s general fund.  Equipment may not be purchased exclusively for programs outside of the school nutrition programs.  Equipment for which funds have already been obligated is not eligible for this grant.

The $465,823 allocated for equipment purchases in Virginia is a statewide allocation.  The VDOE may award partial grants to schools, for example, funding one piece of equipment instead of the two pieces requested.  If more than one piece of equipment is requested on the school application, please prioritize the items in order of need.  No more than two items per site may be requested.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact the school nutrition program specialist assigned to your division or Catherine Digilio Grimes, director of school nutrition programs, via e-mail at or by telephone at (804) 225-2074.



  1. Grant Application for the National School Lunch Program (XLS) Attachment Revised June 3, 2014

1Reference: USDA regulations at 7 CFR 3016.3 and  2 CFR 225 or OMB  Circular A-87