Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

School Cafeteria Funds Frequently Asked Questions


Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin

Purpose: Policy, Beneficial Information

To: School Nutrition Program Sponsors

Attention: Food Service Director

Number: NSD-SNP-05-2009

Date: June 2009

Reference: 2008–09 and 2009–10 State Budget Acts; California Department of Education Correspondence Regarding the State Budget Acts; Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations Parts 210 and 214; Education Code Section 38100 et seq; Management Bulletin NSD-SNP-07-2008 (July 2008)

Subject: Frequently Asked Questions on the Limitations on the Use and Transfer of School Cafeteria Funds/Accounts Related to the 2008–09 and 2009–10 State Budget Acts


This Management Bulletin (MB) provides information regarding the 2008–09 and 2009–10 State Budget Acts and how specific provisions within these Acts affect cafeteria funds/accounts, and responds to numerous requests from local educational agencies (LEA) for clarification on the allowable use and transferability of a school district’s or agency’s cafeteria funds.

On February 25, 2009, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction distributed a letter to all county and district superintendents located on the California Department of Education’s (CDE) Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/el/le/09ltr0225bdgt.asp, which outlined the educational components of the 2008–09 and 2009–10 State Budget. On April 17, 2009, the CDE’s School Fiscal Services Division distributed another letter located on CDE’s finance Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/ac/co/documents/sbx34budgetflex.doc, which further clarified how the Budget Act reductions and funding flexibility affected specific programs.

The following frequently asked questions (FAQs), which can also be found on CDE’s finance Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/fr/eb/nutritionservicfaq.asp, provide even further clarification regarding non-profit school food service account issues:

Are local educational agencies (LEAs) permitted to use cafeteria funds “for any educational purpose” under Section 15 of SBX3 4?

No. There are two types of flexibility in SBX3 4: flexibility with current appropriations (Section 15) and flexibility with June 30, 2008, restricted account balances (Section 42). Section 15 exempted the transfer of child nutrition (cafeteria) funds from this flexibility provision.

Were school food service cafeteria funds affected by the “across the board” reductions in the state budget?

No. Child nutrition funds are not affected by the reduction provision.

Does SBX3 4 Section 42, which allows LEAs to use June 30, 2008, restricted account balances for any purpose in 2008–09 and 2009–10, apply to child nutrition funding?

While the intent of SBX3 4 was to allow LEAs to access surplus fund balances for other district purposes, districts participating in federal school nutrition programs have minimal flexibility when utilizing cafeteria funds. SBX3 4 did not override the requirements of federal regulations that govern the use of cafeteria funds. LEAs participating in the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, and Special Milk Programs must establish a nonprofit school food service (cafeteria) fund/account. All federal, state, and local revenues, payments, and program reimbursement must be deposited into the cafeteria account and are to be used solely for the operation or improvement of this service.

Where can I find more information about the use of school cafeteria funds?

The Limitations on Transfer of Funds Management Bulletin provides information about how federal and state regulations govern cafeteria funds and was published in July 2008. This Bulletin is available on the CDE Limitations on the Transfer of Funds Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/nu/sn/mbnsdsnp072008.asp.

 

If you have any further questions about the transfer of cafeteria funds, please contact your local Child Nutrition Consultant at 800-952-5609; or the School Nutrition Programs Unit at snpcafefundquestions@cde.ca.gov.

Note: Please refer to the CDE’s Web page regarding Action on the 2008 and 2009 Budget Acts, located at http://www.cde.ca.gov/fg/fr/eb/yr09budgetacts.asp, which provides a detailed summary of CDE’s action regarding the 2008-09 state education budget, including FAQs on implementation.

Questions:   School Nutrition Programs Unit | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Related Content
  • Cafeteria Fund Guidance
    Provides Local Educational Authorities (LEA) with information and instructions pertaining to federal and State statutes and regulations that govern school cafeteria funds.
  • School Nutrition Programs Management Bulletins
    School Nutrition Programs (SNP) management bulletins for sponsors of the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Special Milk Program, and State Meal Program.
Recently Posted in Nutrition
  • SNP Administrative Review (updated 15-Feb-2017)
    Includes information, regulations, procedures, and updates on the School Nutrition Programs administrative review.
  • CNIPS Training Registration (added 14-Feb-2017)
    Information about CDE-sponsored courses, training locations, and registrations are available on the CNIPS Training Registration Web page. This Web page is accessed from the CNIPS Home Page by selecting the Training Registration link.
  • Food Service Management Company Rebids 2017-18 (added 14-Feb-2017)
    School Food Authorities required to rebid Food Service Management Company contracts for School Year 2017-18.
  • Two-cent Differential Reimbursement for New SFAs (added 30-Jan-2017)
    MB SNP-04-2017, USDA Policy Memo SP 30-2014: Determining Eligibility for Two-cent Differential Reimbursement and SP 23-2005: Eligibility for Severe Need Rates for the School Breakfast Program.
  • Health and Safety Permit and Fire Inspection (added 24-Jan-2017)
    Management Bulletin CACFP-07-2016: Health and Safety Permit and Fire Inspection Requirements for License-exempt Centers.

  • Eligibility Requirements for Military Families (added 19-Jan-2017)
    Management Bulletin CNP-02-2017, USDA Policy Memo SP 06-2010, CACFP 03-2010, SFSP 04-2010 Revised: Eligibility Requirements for Military Families.
  • 2017–18 SBP and SFSP Start-up and Expansion Grants (added 04-Jan-2017)
    Management Bulletin SNP-01-2017/SFSP01-2017: CEC Section 49550.3: Availability of School Breakfast Program and Summer Food Service Program Start-up and Expansion Grants for State Fiscal Year 2017-18 Request for Applications.