skip to main content skip to main navigation
Photo of a school lunch line - Click to enlarge
Grants Provide Food Service Equipment for School Lunch and Breakfast Programs

For Immediate Release: June 17, 2015
Contact: Lynne Richmond
(609) 633-2954 

(TRENTON) – Seventy schools in 28 school districts around New Jersey will receive grants to purchase, renovate or replace equipment to enhance delivery of the National School Lunch Program in the state.

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture administered the United States Department of Agriculture Fiscal Year 2014 National School Lunch Program (NSLP) Equipment Assistance Grant, which allocated $711,388 to the schools to purchase equipment to improve the quality of school meals. 

“This federal funding will directly improve our schools’ capabilities to feed New Jersey school children nutritious, safe meals,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher.  “The equipment that will be purchased will improve energy efficiency, improve safety of food served, and improve or expand participation in the NSLP and/or School Breakfast Programs.” 

The grants are part of the FY 2014 Appropriations Act.  The funds must be used to purchase, renovate, or replace equipment that is nonexpendable, tangible personal property with a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost which equals or exceeds the lesser of the capitalization level established by the non-Federal entity for financial statement purposes, or $5,000. 

Applications were evaluated based on equipment that will make a meaningful impact on nutrition and quality of meals; equipment that focuses on breakfast expansion to implement alternative breakfast service methods; improvement of the safety of food served; and overall need.  In addition, the applications were competitive and more than 50 percent of the students in the school had to be eligible for free or reduced-price meals and the school could not have received a prior year’s equipment grant.  

The grant funding provides needed assistance for schools to upgrade their food service equipment that in some cases has never been upgraded or replaced.  Equipment slated to be purchased with the grants include refrigerators, freezers, hot and cold holding cabinets, convection ovens, ranges, tilting skillets and walk-in refrigerators and/or freezers.

For a list of the 2014 grant recipients, visit

Additional funding has been made available through the FY 2015 Agriculture Appropriations Act.  USDA has allocated $508,839 to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture to award to schools under the 2015 National School Lunch Program Equipment Assistance Grant.  The new grant application can be found here      

More than 657,000 students participate in the school lunch program in 2,663 schools in the state on a daily basis.