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Food Service Management Company (FSMC) and Vended Meal Contracts


All food service management companies and meal vendors are required to formally register with the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) School Nutrition Unit to be eligible to enter into contracts for the service of USDA Child Nutrition Programs. Sponsors of Child Nutrition Programs may only solicit proposals from Food Service Management Companies (FSMC) or meal vendors registered with the CDE School Nutrition Unit. This resource provides an overview of FSMC and vended meal contracts, as well as the solicitation templates that are required for each type of contract.

  • Food Service Management Company (FSMC) Contract: In a fixed fee or cost-reimbursable contract, the FSMC manages any aspect of the Child Nutrition Program(s), including but not limited to staffing, menu planning, ordering, preparing and serving meals, budgeting, etc. There are some duties that the Sponsor may not delegate to the FSMC, which the Sponsor must still complete.
  • Vended Meals Contract: In a fixed fee vended meals contract, the meal vendor provides the meals only (prepackaged, pre-plated) and does not manage any other aspect of the Child Nutrition Programs. However, if the contractor’s employees are responsible for final preparation and/or serving of prepackaged, pre-plated meals, the additional services are included in the fixed fee bid and may not be charged separately.

Using vended meals for school year 2020-21

SFAs and schools may purchase vended meals if they need to supplement meals prepared by staff or if staff are sick and cannot prepare meals. Vended meals are unitized, reimbursable meals that may be purchased with or without milk. Vended meals must be purchased from a CO Registered Meal Vendors, and SFAs/schools may use a one-year noncompetitive contract to purchase vended meals for the 2020-21 school year. SFAs/schools must contact Rebecca Boone to obtain the required contract template to use for purchasing vended meals. 

Food Service Management Contracts (FSMCs) and Vended Meal Contracts 

Annual Registration: open for the 2021-22 school year

Companies that wish to receive vended meals or food service management solicitations may register with CDE School Nutrition using the Annual Vendor and FSMC Registration online form. Please note that a signed copy of the Non-delegable duties, Suspension and Debarment, and Anti-Lobbying Certification forms must be attached in the online form.  

For additional information on Meal Vendor and FSMC registration, review this 15 minute webinar on the Meal Vendor and FSMC Registration Process


USDA Memos

For more information on FSMCs, contact Megan Johnson or call 303-866-5983.