Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education Procurement of Food Service Management Company SY 2019-2020

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; General Business Managers; Bookkeepers; Child Nutrition Directors/Managers

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Memo Text




The purpose of this memo is to provide guidance on the procurement of a Food Service Management Company for the 2019-2020 school year.


The Arkansas Department of Education Child Nutrition Unit (ADE CNU) will host a training session on Wednesday, October 17, 2018, for School Food Authorities (SFAs)/Local Education Agencies (LEAs) interested in procuring the services of a Food Service Management Company (FSMC) for the school year 2019-2020.  The FSMC Procurement Timeline provides information that will assist the SFA 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 late December or early January for approval.  RFPs must be approved by ADE CNU before they can be released or advertised to the registered FSMCs available for contracting.


Attendance at the training is optional; however, each SFA wishing to procure a FSMC is encouraged to bring a team to the training to ensure multiple people are prepared for the procurement process.  Team members may include the superintendent, child nutrition director, financial or business manager, school board members 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 or a groups of SFAs 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 Contracts:

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


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


A RFP completed by the SFA becomes the formal contract between the SFA 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 SFA supervises the FSMC contract to ensure that all state and federal regulations are in compliance.  The SFA superintendent or his/her designee and the SFA child nutrition director are responsible for following the USDA guidance for the use of FSMC and for filing all paperwork with ADE CNU.  Remember the contract will be between the FSMC and the SFA.  The SFA has a contract with USDA through ADE CNU.  ADE CNU cannot and will not talk directly to the FSMC to correct problems that may occur within the individual SFA.


With the responsibility for final procurement decisions, it is strongly recommended that SFA administrators and school board members review the documents that will be made available to the SFA on the training date.  The following documents will valuable to SFAs as personnel are writing the RFP.

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


Email the attached registration form by Monday, October 1, 2018, to


Additional training information will be email to the SFAs after registration is received.





SFA/LEA Registration Form

FSMC Procurement Timeline

Contracting with Food Service Authorities: Guidance for School Food Authorities

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