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Information Alert: State Meal Reimb. Reduction


Nutrition Services Division Information Alert

To: School Nutrition Program Sponsors

Number: NSP-SNP-03-2009

Attention: Food Service Director

Date: March 2009
Subject: Reduction in State Meal Reimbursement Rate for Fiscal Year 2008-09

This Information Alert (IA) expands upon the notification you received from the California Department of Education (CDE) on January 30, 2009, related to State Meal reimbursement. Specifically, the State Meal reimbursement appropriation for Fiscal Year (FY) 2008-09 of $125.7 million is insufficient to support California’s meal reimbursement rates, which differ by agency funding type, of $0.2195 and $0.1566 (explained below), for all projected eligible meals served through the School Nutrition Programs. 

The deficiency in funding is related to two important factors:

  1. The reimbursement rate included in the 2007-08 Budget Act included an approved cost of living adjustment (COLA), but the appropriation received did not cover the COLA. This funding gap continues into the current and future years.
  2. Meal participation increased significantly in FY 2007-08; schools served a record 770 million meals, an increase of 28 million (4.5 percent) from FY 2006-07. Furthermore, recent findings show a dramatic 10 percent rise in the number of meals served in school districts September through December 2007 and September through December 2008.
Proposition 98 Agencies (Public School Districts, Charter Schools, and County Offices of Education)
Non-Proposition 98 Agencies (Private Schools, Juvenile Halls, Camps, and County Children’s Homes)

The CDE clearly understands the significant impact that this decrease in funding has on your food service operations. As a result, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell has sponsored Assembly Bill (AB) 95/Torlakson, which would provide an additional $19.5 million for school meal reimbursement for FY 2008-09 in order to keep schools from running out of meal reimbursement funds before the end of the current school year.

While the CDE is working with the Legislature to obtain funding needed to fully reimburse State Meal reimbursement claims throughout the year, we encourage school nutrition program sponsors to plan appropriately for this uncertain fiscal situation.

If you have any questions regarding this IA, please contact the Nutrition Services Division at 800-952-5609. If you have questions regarding meal reimbursement claim issues, please contact Shawneen Coriloni at 916-322-4311, or by e-mail at scoriloni@cde.ca.gov.

See also:

2008-09 SNP Reimbursement Rates

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
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