State Administrative Expenses for Child Nutrition

To provide each State agency with funds for its administrative expenses in supervising and giving technical assistance to local schools, school districts and institutions in their conduct of Child Nutrition Programs.

State agencies that administer the distribution of USDA donated commodities to
schools or child or adult care institutions are also provided with State Administrative Expense (SAE) funds.

Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.

Office - See Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Program Accomplishments

The availability of SAE funds has enabled State agencies to be more effective in meeting their administrative responsibilities under the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, Special Milk, Child and Adult Care Food Program, and Food Distribution Program.

Uses and Use Restrictions

SAE funds must be used for purposes specified in the legislation, consistent with the cost principles and constraints on allowable and unallowable costs, and indirect cost rates as prescribed in OMB Circular No.


These funds may be used, under certain conditions, for the procurement of supplies, equipment, and services.

Five FNS programs comprise the Child Nutrition grants to States funding block.

Federal funds for State administrative expenses allocated to the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, the Special Milk Program for Children, the Summer Food Service Program for Children, and the Child and Adult Care Food Program are combined and provided to each State agency as a "block distribution." Congress has given some leeway to States to determine how this block of money will actually be allocated among these programs at the State level based on program administrative needs.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

State agencies responsible for the conduct of Child Nutrition Programs, and agencies responsible for the distribution of USDA donated commodities to schools, and/or child or adult care institutions, including agencies in the U.S.


Beneficiary Eligibility

State agencies responsible for the conduct of Child Nutrition Programs, and agencies responsible for the distribution of USDA donated commodities to schools, and/or child or adult care institutions, including agencies in the U.S. Territories.


Costs are to be determined and documented in accordance with agency regulations (7 CFR 235) and USDA Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations (7 CFR Parts 3015 or 3016 and 3019).

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

This program is eligible for coverage under E.O.

12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.

Application Procedures

The State agency enters into a written agreement with the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) on a form prescribed by the FNS. The standard application forms as furnished by the Federal agency must be used for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110.

Award Procedures

Release of funds to a State agency is contingent upon receipt and approval of their plan for disbursement of SAE funds. A State agency must submit an initial Plan in fiscal year 1997 and their estimated funding needs for the duration of fiscal year 1997. Thereafter, in accordance with Public Law 104-193 which deleted the requirement for an annual plan unless there are substantive changes, a State agency would only submit revisions to the initial plan.


Data on additional funds needed or funds not needed and to be returned as applicable, are due by May 1 of each year.


Child Nutrition Act of 1966, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 1776, 1779.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time






Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

For the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, and the Special Milk Program, funds are allocated on the basis of an amount equal to one percent of the total funds used in the State for these programs during the second preceding year based on FNS program and fiscal data. However, no State receives less than $200,000 or the amount it received in fiscal year 1981, whichever is larger. For the Child and Adult Care Food Program, a sliding grant is made based on FNS program and fiscal data. In addition, the Secretary has discretionary authority to provide funds to States for program improvement, based on FNS program and fiscal data. The authorizing legislation which establishes eligibility for SAE funds is the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, as amended, Section 7 (42 U.S.C. 1776). This program has a State Funding Requirement (SFR). See funding agency for details. Any reduction of funds from State sources below the fiscal year 1977 level will result in a withdrawal of Federal funds under this grant.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Funded each fiscal year during the period covered by the agreement. A State agency may carry over up to twenty percent of SAE funds allocated to it for obligation and expenditure during the succeeding fiscal year.

Post Assistance Requirements


Each State agency shall submit quarterly financial status information on SAE funds on forms provided by FNS and will continue to report information on the use of SAE funds, after the end of the fiscal year to which they pertain, until all unpaid obligations have been liquidated.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133, "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-profit Organizations," State governments that expended $500,000 or more under Federal awards within any fiscal year shall have either a single audit or (in certain cases) a program specific audit made for that year. Audits may be conducted less frequently under conditions specified in A-133.


Each State agency shall keep records on administrative expenses conforming with the applicable SAE plan and shall maintain current accounting records of SAE funds that shall adequately identify fund authorizations, obligations, unobligated balances, assets, liabilities, outlays, and income.

Financial Information

Account Identification



FY 07 $162,843,624; FY 08 $171,177,636; and FY 09 est $184,454,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

From $309,953 to $20,122,410; $3,153,719.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Regulations 7 CFR Part 235, "State Administrative Expense Funds."

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Headquarters Office

Director, Child Nutrition Division, Food and Nutrition Service, Department of Agriculture, Alexandria, VA 22302. Telephone: (703) 305-2590. Contact: Cynthia Long, Director.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not applicable.

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