USDA Announces $25 Million for New School Food Service Equipment

WASHINGTON–(ENEWSPF)–Jan. 14, 2010 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the availability of $25 million in grants to help schools operating a National School Lunch Program (NSLP) replace outdated equipment with new, energy efficient, appliances such as refrigerators, ovens, and other food service related equipment. The new funding, authorized in accordance with Section 7(a)(2) of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1776(a)(2)), is a one-time fiscal year 2010 appropriation to State educational agencies.

“President Obama and I are committed to ensuring that America’s children have access to safe and nutritious food through our National School Lunch Program,” said Vilsack. “These grants will help schools obtain much needed infrastructure to better serve their students and will focus on equipment that helps schools provide nutritious meals, support food safety efforts, improve energy efficiency, and expand participation in school nutrition programs.”

As mandated by the legislation, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) will award these grants to school food authorities that participate in the NSLP and that did not receive an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 grant for NSLP equipment assistance in FY 2009. Additionally, priority will be given to schools where 50 percent or more of the students are eligible for free or reduced price meals under the NSLP.

“One of USDA’s top priorities is to provide our children well-balanced, healthy meals and snacks during their school day,” said Vilsack. “Lunches provided by USDA’s National School Lunch Program help children develop healthy eating and lifestyle choices.”

Operating in more than 101,000 public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions nationwide, the NSLP works in concert with FNS’s other nutrition assistance programs to form a national safety net against hunger. It provides school children of all economic backgrounds with a well-balanced, healthy meal that is designed to meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. In some cases, the school lunch is the main daily meal for a needy child.

Congress is currently considering reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act, which provides the outline for the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs that serve more than 31 million children. Administration priorities include eliminating barriers that keep children from participating in school nutrition programs, improving the quality of school meals and the health of the school environment, and enhancing program performance.

The following are the FY 2010 equipment grants allocated to each State:

Alabama, $ 482,431

Alaska, $68,689

Arkansas, $318,850

Arizona, $556,730

California, $3,230,885

Colorado, $264,599

Connecticut, $191,184

Delaware, $59,865

District of Columbia, $48,505

Florida, $1,377,438

Georgia, $1,110,566

Guam, $48,505

Hawaii, $87,839

Idaho, $119,804

Illinois, $902,953

Indiana, $497,318

Iowa, $202,568

Kansas, $212,873

Kentucky, $434,579

Louisiana, $498,396

Maine, $76,036

Maryland, $305,389

Massachusetts, $346,140

Michigan, $629,296

Minnesota, $316,895

Mississippi, $417,276

Missouri, $454,359

Montana, $57,061

Nebraska, $132,228

Nevada, $169,425

New Hampshire, $48,634

New Jersey, $463,465

New Mexico, $227,948

New York, $1,487,348

North Carolina, $815,762

North Dakota, $48,505

Ohio, $744,157

Oklahoma, $372,503

Oregon, $253,251

Pennsylvania, $720,976

Puerto Rico, $364,784

Rhode Island, $68,162

South Carolina, $467,392

South Dakota, $61,729

Tennessee, $568,339

Texas, $2,984,296

Utah, $181,260

Vermont, $48,505

Virgin Islands, $48,505

Virginia, $473,197

Washington, $393,619

West Virginia, $159,247

Wisconsin, $331,229

Wyoming, $48,505

NATIONAL TOTAL $ 25,000,000

Some state allocations reflect all State administration funds provided, including those for Regional Office Administered Programs (ROAPs) and alternate State agencies.