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Randolph-Sheppard Vending Facility Program

What is the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Facility Program?

The Vending Facility program authorized by the Randolph-Sheppard Act provides persons who are blind with remunerative employment and self-support through the operation of vending facilities on Federal and other property. The program, enacted into law in 1936 and amended in 1954 and 1974, was intended to enhance employment opportunities for trained, licensed blind persons to operate facilities such as cafeterias, snack bars, and automatic vending machines on Federal property. The program priority has broadened in most states through state laws to include state, county, municipal, and private locations as well. Under the program, State Licensing Agencies (SLAs) recruit, train, license, and place individuals who are blind as operators of vending facilities located on Federal and other properties. The Act authorizes a blind individual licensed by the SLA to conduct specified activities in vending facilities through permits or contracts. The Randolph-Sheppard Act regulations can be found in 34 C.F.R. Part 395. Click this link to learn more about this program.

What are state licensing agencies?

An application for designation as a State Licensing Agency may only be submitted by the State VR agency providing VR services to the blind under an approved VR services portion of a WIOA Unified or Combined State Plan. SLAs under the Randolph-Sheppard Act are required annually to complete the Report of Vending Facility Program (RSA-15) that reports activities for the prior Federal Fiscal Year (FFY). The intent of the RSA-15 is to collect data on all vending facilities managed and operated by the SLA under the Act. 

How many vendors benefit from the program, and what do they earn?

According to an RSA report issued in December 2020, in FFY 2018, a total of 1,822 blind vendors operated 2,209 vending facilities located on Federal and other properties. The total earnings of all vendors were $127.4 million, and the national average net earning of vendors was $69,907. The total gross income for the program was $698.8 million.

How can I get more information about this program?

For more information on the Randolph-Sheppard Vending Facility Program, contact the RSA staff responsible for administering the program.