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Grants to Maryland Qualifying Schools to Improve On-Site Food Service Programs

Equipment Assistance Grants for National School Lunch Program Operators


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE)
Array ( )

Geographic Focus
USA: Maryland

Important Dates
Deadline: 02/12/24 5:00 PM EST Save

Grant Description
Grants to Maryland qualifying schools to benefit students who participate in school meal programs. Funding is intended for capital acquisitions that will improve the school's on-site food service programs. Priority will be given to high-needs schools where 50 percent or more of the enrolled students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Eligible applicants are public and non-public schools that participate in the NSLP.

The purpose of this grant is to distribute funds provided by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022, (Public Law 117-103), to State agencies to competitively award Equipment Assistance Grants to eligible School Food Authorities (SFAs) participating in the NSLP. The Equipment Assistance Grants will be especially effective in supporting SFAs, which have been experiencing supply chain disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 public health emergency and which have reported challenges in operating school food service. In addition, the timely award of these Equipment Assistance Grants will benefit recipient SFAs by enabling them to meet equipment needs associated with a return to standard operating procedures. Equipment requests may include new equipment, renovation of equipment, or replacement of equipment.

Priority will be given to:

  • High-needed schools where 50 percent or more of the enrolled students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals.
  • Additional factors include, but are not limited to the following:
    • Opportunities to realize meaningful impacts on nutrition and quality of meals.
    • Strategies for adopting lunchroom changes that provide more convenience and appeal to the student population.
    • The age of food service equipment or lack of appropriate items.
    • The availability of existing State and local funding for equipment purchases.
  • Priority is also given to schools that have not previously received an NSLP Equipment Grant.

Funds may be used for:

  • Computers/Hardware and Software
  • Dining Room Tables and Chairs
  • Dishwashers, Sinks, and Supplies
  • Food Preparation Equipment
  • Food Warmers
  • Ranges and Ovens
  • Refrigeration Equipment
  • Service Equipment
  • Steam Equipment
  • Storage
  • Temperature Monitoring
  • Transportation


Additional Eligibility Criteria
This funding opportunity is designed for Public and Non-Public Schools that participate in the NSLP. The MSDE reserves the right to take into consideration geographic distribution when making awards.

Funds may not be used for:
- Equipment valued at less than $1,000
- Equipment that has a useful life of less than one year
- Repairs or modifications that do not increase the value or useful life of the equipment
- Costs incurred before the approval of the grant

Pre-Proposal Conference
MSDE will hold three customer service support sessions for interested applicants. During these sessions, MSDE personnel will review what applicants need to get started, the program requirements, as well as a walk-through of the application. The sessions will be held on:

Wednesday, January 17, 2024
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Video Call Link:

Monday, January 22, 2024
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Video Call Link:

Tuesday, January 30, 2024
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Video Call Link:

Pre-Application Information
- January 12, 2024: The Grant Information Guide and the application for participating are released.
- January 17, 2024: MSDE will hold a virtual customer service support session for interested applicants.
- January 22, 2024: MSDE will hold a virtual customer service support session for interested applicants.
- January 30, 2024: MSDE will hold a virtual customer service support session for interested applicants.
- Monday, February 12, 2024. No later than 5:00 pm EST: The grant application period closes.
- February 6, 2024: MSDE begins reviewing applications for completeness and minimum requirements.
- February 7-8, 2024: MSDE Review Committee will evaluate proposals.
- February 26, 2024: MSDE will notify applicants of the award status.
- October 1, 2023: The grant period begins.
- September 30, 2025: The grant period ends.

Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants

Estimated Size of Grant
Equipment requested must be greater than $1,000.

Term of Contract
Grant Period: October 1, 2023 -September 30, 2025

Contact Information
Submit applications via email to

If you have questions about the application or the process, please contact the Program Monitor:
Sara Brand, Program Specialist

Maryland State Department of Education
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201

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