Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Procurement of Food Service Management Companies

Memo Information

Memo Number
Memo Date
Memo Type
Child Nutrition
Regulatory Authority
7 CFR 210, 215, 220; 2 CFR 200; USDA Memo SP 09-2008; Ark. Code Ann., 6-21-304; FIN-09-069; USDA FD-023; USDA FD-080; USDA FD-110
Response Required
Superintendents; Principals; General Business Manager

Primary Contact Information

Memo Reference

No references available.

Memo Text



The Arkansas Department of Education, Child Nutrition Unit (ADE CNU) will host a training session on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 for School Food Authorities (SFA)/Local Education Agencies (LEA) interested in procuring the services of a Food Service Management Company (FSMC) for the school year 2018-2019.  The FSMC Procurement Timeline provides information that will assist the district in the procurement process.  The training will provide an overview of the procurement process and the Request for Proposal (RFP) document.  Draft RFPs will be submitted to ADE CNU in early January for approval before the RFPs can be released or advertised to the FSMCs available for contracting. 


Attendance at the training is optional; however, each school district wishing to procure a FSMC is encouraged to bring a team to the training to ensure multiple people are prepared for the process.  Members may include the superintendent, child nutrition director, financial or business manager, a school board member and the district legal counsel.


General Procurement Requirements:


Any service or services provided by an individual, government entity, a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation to a single SFA/LEA or group of SFAs/LEAs that result in the procurement of products that are paid for by the federal nonprofit food service account funds must be in compliance with federal and state procurement requirements (whichever is most restrictive) and must be conducted in a manner providing full and open competition (2 CFR 200.319).


Food Service Management Company Contracts:


A FSMC is a commercial enterprise or a nonprofit organization that may be contracted by a SFA/LEA to manage any aspect of the school food service program (7 CFR 210.2).


If any SFA/LEA, cooperative purchasing entity, or group has third party management that makes financial decision that obligates federal child nutrition funds and/or represents the district or group in negotiations and commitments with vendors, food manufacturers, brokers, etc. for one or more aspects of the district food service program then that third party entity is considered a FSMC under the above regulation.


A RFP completed by the school district becomes the formal contract between the school district and an outside vendor/FSMC.  Generally, the FSMC entity employs the food service workers instead of the school district and provides reimbursable meal services to students.  The school district supervises the FSMC contract to ensure that all state and federal regulations are in compliance.


With responsibility for final procurement decisions, it is strongly recommended that district administrators and school board members review the documents that will be made available to the SFA on the training date. The following documents will be available for districts:

  1. The state approved RFP for FSMC services.  Districts must use the prototype RFP to ensure compliance with all federal and state regulations.  This RFP will become the contract between the two entities – the district and the FSMC.
  2.  Instructions for completing the RFP.
  3.  A copy of the Contracting with Food Service Management Companies:  Guidance for School Food Authorities for SFA/LEA seeking contracts with FSMCs.

Fax, email or mail the registration form by Monday, October 2, 2017 to:


Susie Ward

Assistant Director of Program Administration

Arkansas Department of Education, Child Nutrition Unit

2020 West 3rd Street, Suite 404

Little Rock, Arkansas 72205

Fax:  501-324-9505


Additional training information will be emailed to the SFA/LEA’s contact after registration is received.



SFA/LEA Registration Form

FSMC Procurement Timeline

Contracting with Food Service Food Authorities:  Guidance for School Food Authorities

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