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Child Nutrition Reauthorization 2010

Letter Head: Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, California Department of Education

December 9, 2011

Dear County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, School Business Officials, and Nutrition Service Directors:


The California Department of Education (CDE) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recognize the complexity that local educational agencies (LEAs) face in allocating costs amongst various federal and non-federal programs. As part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, the USDA recently released a 113-page guidance manual for charging indirect costs to the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program; the CDE’s Nutrition Services Division notified LEAs of the USDA’s new guidance in a September 2011 Management Bulletin. To further assist LEAs in adhering to federal cost allocation requirements, additional indirect cost guidance can be found on the CDE Indirect Cost Rates Web page at and on the USDA Food and Nutrition Service Program Policy Web document at

I encourage all county and district superintendents and charter school administrators to work with their food service directors and business officials to become knowledgeable about federal cost allocation requirements and the recently issued USDA guidance. Failure to comply with the applicable federal regulations in allocating indirect costs may result in noncompliance with federal regulations and negatively impact food services, including the cafeteria fund.

Insufficient documentation for direct costs to the cafeteria fund will also have negative consequences. For example, federal requirements prohibit LEAs from transferring cafeteria funds to the general fund for current and prior year costs that are not properly supported by source documentation, such as personnel activity reports to substantiate the actual amount of staff time spent on food service activities or, as another example, original vendor invoices substantiating allowable food service costs.

If you have any questions regarding this subject matter, please contact Janet Jendrejack, Manager, Nutrition Programs Administration, by phone at 916-323-4100 or by e-mail at [Note: the previous contact is no longer valid. Please contact Tracey Smith, Acting Manager, Southern School Nutrition Programs Unit, by phone at 916-322-3924 or by e-mail at]


Tom Torlakson


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