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Nutrition


The California Department of Education (CDE) helps schools, child care programs, and other community programs provide healthy meals and snacks to children. Almost every school in California serves lunch to its students. Some schools also serve breakfast and snacks. A child may be able to get free meals or meals at a very low cost.

  • Learn more about free or low-cost meals that may be available to your child by contacting your local school district, day care program, or homeless shelter. To find contact information for your school, go to the CDE California School Directory Web page.
  • The Nutrition - CalEdFacts page provides a more detailed overview of nutrition services offered in California schools and child care programs.
  • The links and information below were developed for educators and others who are directly involved with nutrition services programs in California.

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Meal Programs | Education, Training, & Professional Development | Program Resources

Meal Programs

  • School Nutrition
    The principal meal and milk programs offered at public and private nonprofit schools and residential child care institutions.
  • Child & Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
    Information about meal programs offered at public and private child care centers, day care homes, adult day care centers, and homeless shelters under the CACFP.
  • After School
    Information and resources about healthy snacks, nutrition education, and physical activity for afterschool programs.
  • Summer Food Service
    Federal meal programs for children from low-income areas during vacation and off-track periods.

Education, Training, & Professional Development

Program Resources

  • Administrative Review
    An overview of the areas that will be reviewed during the Administrative Review by a Nutrition Program Consultant from the CDE Nutrition Services Division.
  • Child Nutrition Information & Payment System (CNIPS)
    The CNIPS is a Web-based system for local sponsors of federal food programs to more easily submit and track the status of their applications, claims, changes, and commodity requests to the CDE.
  • Claim Reimbursements
    Fiscal information to aid nutrition sponsors and to provide information about claiming meal reimbursements.
  • Food Distribution
    Information about U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foods, Department of Defense (DOD) fresh produce, distribution centers, and processing of USDA Foods.
  • Food Program Data
    Child nutrition programs data and statistics, including county profiles, free and reduced-price meals data, school meal nutrition analysis, and summer meal service sites.
  • Legislation, Regulations, & Policies
    Current and proposed legislation, regulations, and policies for child nutrition programs administration.
  • Procurement in Child Nutrition Programs
    Federal and state information for the procurement of food service related goods and services across all federally funded child nutrition programs and the USDA Foods Program.
  • Rates, Eligibility Scales, & Funding
    Reimbursement rates, annual eligibility scales, and funding information.
  • USDA Civil Rights
    USDA Food and Nutrition Service policies and procedures about nondiscrimination in the administration of the child nutrition and food distribution programs.
Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Related Content
  • 2016 Summer Meal Service Sites
    Provides parents and referral agencies with a list of locations where children may receive free nutritious meals during school vacation and off-track periods. Please call site contact to confirm participation.
  • Community Eligibility Provision
    The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) provides School Nutrition Program (SNP) sponsors an alternative method for claiming student meals in high poverty schools.
  • Competitive Foods and Beverages
    Information, tools, and resources on foods and beverages sold outside of the federally reimbursable meal programs.
  • Drinking Water for Students in Schools
    Chapter 558 of the Statutes of 2010 (Senate Bill 1413, Leno) establishes California Education Code (EC) Section 38086, which requires school districts to provide access to free, fresh drinking water during meal times.
  • SNP Eligibility Materials
    School Nutrition Programs applications, forms, and other materials for school meal, milk, and State Meal Program eligibility.
Recently Posted in Nutrition
  • Eligibility Requirements for SNP (added 30-Nov-2016)
    Management Bulletin SNP-18-2016, USDA Policy Memorandum SP 34-2016: provides guidance on eligibility requirements and available resources for the School Nutrition Programs.
  • Local School Wellness Policy Final Rule (added 28-Nov-2016)
    Management Bulletin SNP-20-2016: Local School Wellness Policy Final Rule as of July 29, 2016.
  • Snacks & Meal Standards for After School Programs (updated 17-Nov-2016)
    This fact sheet identifies the state nutrition standards as well as the federal reimbursable requirements for snacks and meals offered in after school programs (ASP).
  • CACFP Meal Pattern Resources and Trainings (added 17-Nov-2016)
    Includes local training schedules and registration instructions, upcoming conference information, Webinar schedules and links, and resources and guidance for Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) sponsors.
  • Reimbursement for CACFP Audit Costs (added 16-Nov-2016)
    Reimbursement for Child and Adult Care Food Program Audit Costs

  • Mandatory Review of P2 or P3 Base Year—Revised (added 01-Nov-2016)
    Management Bulletin SNP-16-2016; Mandatory Review of Provision 2 or 3 Base Year—Revised.
  • Smart Snacks in School Final Rule (added 27-Oct-2016)
    Management Bulletin SNP-21-2016: Changes made to the Smart Snacks in School (SSIS) Final Rule.
  • Verification Reporting (added 25-Oct-2016)
    Instructions for local education agencies (LEAs) on submitting the verification collection report through the Child Nutrition and Information Payment System (CNIPS) using the verification report function.
  • CEP Application and Increasing ISP (added 24-Oct-2016)
    Management Bulletin SNP-19-2016, USDA FNS Policy Memo SP 15-2016: Community Eligibility Provision Application and Increasing Identified Student Percentage.
  • Eligibility Carryover Period (added 05-Oct-2016)
    Management Bulletin SNP-22-2016: Early Implementation of Eligibility Carryover Period for Students Transitioning from Provision Schools.