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Disaster Relief Guidelines

Providing meals to children and food to affected communities during State or federally declared disasters.

Schools and/or districts participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) are allowed flexibility in providing meals to children and food to affected communities during State or federally declared disasters. Specifically, California Education Code Section 49505 provides the following:

In addition, schools that are closed due to a State or federally declared disaster may apply for reimbursement to offset fixed expenses, such as salaries that continue to accrue during the temporary closure. Please note that meal reimbursement is contingent upon available funding. Applications should be submitted immediately after the disaster; however, payment is contingent upon available funding after the end of the State’s fiscal year (i.e., after June 30 each year).

Further, schools and districts are also allowed flexibility regarding the use of United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foods during a State or federally declared disaster (Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 250; Food Distribution Program Administrative Manual, Chapter 6), with prior approval from the California Department of Education (CDE):

If you have questions regarding school meal disaster relief policies, please contact your Field Services Child Nutrition Consultant at 800-952-5609 or 916-322-3609.

For more information about USDA Foods issues from the CDE, Nutrition Services Division, contact Jeremy Pagan, Food Administration Manager, at 916-324-7132 or by e-mail at

If you need assistance with pending disaster relief reimbursement claims, please contact Child Nutrition Fiscal Services at 916-322-8330.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609  
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