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FAQ - Other Food Service Providers

Frequently asked questions about food service providers other than NYCDOE SchoolFood:

Does a charter school have to use NYCDOE SchoolFood?


Can a charter school in a NYCDOE building use a different food service provider than NYCDOE SchoolFood?

Yes, but you need to get agreement from the shared school NYCDOE principal regarding the vendor and your planned program.

Can a school participate in the Federal School Meals Program if it does not use NYCDOE SchoolFood?

Yes. Schools pay the contracted food services provider with money received from the National School Breakfast and School Lunch programs. Some independent food services providers will provide meals and handle all applications and paperwork in exchange for payment equal to the minimum total food subsidy revenue. See the USDA School Meals site for additional information.

Can a school decide what food it wants to serve?

Yes, but if a school participates in the National School Breakfast and School Lunch programs, meals must meet stated nutritional requirements. Copies of these requirements can be obtained here. Keep copies of menus containing nutritional information for auditing purposes.

What does a school need to do if it plans to use an outside food service provider?

Contact the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to be licensed and inspected. You can apply for a license online.

Where do I find a list of food service providers?

Visit the Charter Center's vendor list.

Food, Health & Safety