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A food service management company (FSMC) contract is one in which the contractor manages some aspect of the school food service program. Generally, the FSMC prepares and serves the meals and/or manages the school meal program(s).

In a vended meals contract, the contractor provides the meals only (generally pre-packaged/ pre-plated) and does not manage any aspect of the school food service. However, if the contractor's employees are responsible for the management of the program and/or for the final preparation and/or serving of pre-packaged/pre-plated school meals, the contract becomes a FSMC contract and is no longer considered a vended meals contract. If that is the case, you should click on the red box below.

If you are not sure which type of contract you have or you are considering contracting for the first time, please contact our office for further information and clarification (800-545-7892).

To obtain the prototype contract forms and documents, please click on the appropriate link below.

 Third Party Contracting — Public Act 095–0241

Public Act 095–0241, effective August 17, 2007, outlines additional requirements for school districts that choose to contract with a third party for non-instructional services. Regarding school meal services, the legislation impacts school districts with employees who perform services for the school meal program and are considering contracting with a third party to perform those school meal program services. For example, if the school district employs staff to perform various meal service-related tasks, the school district is required to implement new procedures as part of the contract solicitation and award process. Links to the Public Act and the summary of the requirements are provided below.

 State Agency Responsibilities

When a school food authority (SFA) contracts with a food service management company (FSMC), the state agency is required to annually review each contract to ensure the contract meets all regulatory requirements. Each state is required to conduct an on-site review of each SFA contracting with a FSMC to determine the SFA's compliance with all provisions and standards set forth in regulations. The state agency's on-site review of the SFA-FSMC operation must be conducted once every five years and be sufficient in scope to ensure compliance.​

 School Food Authority Responsibilities

On-Site Review Requirements

National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) regulations require each school food authority (SFA) with more than one site where reimbursable meals are served to annually conduct their own review of each site's meal count and claiming procedures. All NSLP sites must be reviewed, and for the SBP sites a school shall perform on-site reviews at a minimum of 50 percent of their sites that serve breakfast.

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