Meal Pattern Requirements
Meal patterns establish the minimum portions of the various meal components that must be served to each child in order for the participating sponsor to receive reimbursement for each meal.
For a Breakfast to be reimbursable meal, it must contain:
- One serving of milk;
- One serving of a vegetable or fruit or full-strength juice; and
- One serving of grain or bread.
- A meat or meat alternate is optional.
For a lunch or supper to be a reimbursable meal, it must contain:
- One serving of milk;
- Two or more servings of vegetables and/or fruits;
- One serving of grain or bread; and
- One serving of meat or meat alternate.
For a snack to be a reimbursable meal, it must contain two food items. Each item must be from a different food component. However, juice cannot be served when milk is served as the only other component.
The purpose of sponsor procurement is to maximize competition among qualified vendors when program funds are used.
Sponsors who choose not to prepare their own meals may procure their meals by either contracting with a registered Food Service Management Company (FSMC), or by entering into a non competitive written agreement with the Local Educational Agency (LEA) which does not obtain meals or management services from a FSMC.
Sponsors who plan to use a FSMC to provide meals – Going out for bid
- Sponsor must notify the State Agency at least 14 days before a bid opening totaling $100,000 or more. The announcement must include the time and place of the bid opening, as well as the sponsor/vendor contact information.
- A State agency representative must attend any bid opening (Unless the State agency has a waiver to this requirement form USDA) totaling $100,000 or more, and then submit a copy of the Invitation for Bid (IFB) packet to (FNM) prior to the beginning of program operations. The IFB packet is a standard contract developed by the State agency which must be used by any sponsor wishing to contract with a FSMC.
- Sponsors must forward the IFB packet directly to the Procurement Specialist for review/approval.
Amendment/renewal to an existing competitive food contract
Sponsors may renew their existing food contract up to two times. However, they may only do so if such stipulation was specified in the base year contract. Sponsors wishing to renew their existing contract must submit to the Procurement Specialist for review/approval, an amendment to that contract (IFB packet) prior to program operations indicating any changes that may affect the existing contract such as meal prices, delivery times, etc. The effective date of the renewal period must also appear in the renewal request.
Sponsors who plan to use a LEA to provide meals – Written Agreement
Sponsors who decide to procure their meals from a LEA are not required to go out for bid, but must enter into a noncompetitive written agreement with their local LEA. The LEA must not obtain meals or management service from a FSMC. The sponsor must forward to the State agency, a copy of the completed and signed written agreement, or comparable document between the sponsor and the LEA.
*NOTE – Sponsors may not contract out management responsibilities of the program to the FSMC.
For additional information about procurement, please contact Christie Meresse, Procurement Compliance, at Christine.Meresse@freshfromflorida.com