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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 Emergency Feeding 

SFAs and schools that are not able to prepare meals during a school closure may consider purchasing vended meals to serve. Vended meals are unitized, reimbursable meals that may be purchased with or without milk. Vended meals must be purchased from a CO Registered Meal Vendor (DOC), and SFAs/schools must submit the Vended Meals Emergency Agreement (DOC) to Megan Johnson for approval. 


Food Service Management Contracts (FSMCs)


Vended Meal Contracts


USDA Memos


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