Superintendent's Memo #094-09

State seal, Commonwealth of Virginia

Department of Education

April 10, 2009

TO: Division Superintendents

FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction

SUBJECT: Equipment Assistance Grants for School Nutrition Programs under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

Public Law 111-5, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), provides a one-time appropriation to Virginia of $1,871,114 for equipment assistance grants for school divisions participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).

Funds will be awarded to school divisions through a competitive process that is fair and equitable. The school division’s application packet must include one site application for each school for which funds are being requested. The application deadline is 3 p.m. on Monday, May 11, 2009. Late submissions will be disqualified. The grant application with detailed evaluation criteria for the award, timelines for submission of the application, and spending deadlines can be found at

Grants will only be awarded to a division if the total request for expenditures is $5,000 or greater. It is possible that a grant request may not be fully funded, but may be approved for partial funding. As stipulated in the ARRA, priority will be given to school divisions with schools in which at least 50 percent of the students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Division-wide percentages may not be used.

The equipment purchased with the ARRA equipment assistance grant funds must be used to support the federally assisted school nutrition programs of the school division. Equipment may not be purchased exclusively for programs outside of the NSLP. Equipment for which funds have already been obligated is not eligible for this grant.

In order to provide a timely impact on the economy, school divisions will be notified no later than June 8, 2009, if a grant is awarded. We encourage the purchase of the equipment by September 1, 2009, in order to obligate and/or spend all grant money prior to the September 30, 2009, deadline. Any funds not obligated by September 30, 2009, will be recovered by the Department of Education and returned to the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

If you have additional questions or need further information, please contact the Director of School Nutrition Programs, Catherine Digilio Grimes by telephone at (804) 225-2074 or via e-mail at or the school nutrition specialist assigned to your division.

PIW / CDG / idl