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Interagency Agreements in School Food Service


Nutrition Services Division Management Bulletin

Purpose: Policy

To: School Nutrition Program Sponsors

Attention: Food Service Directors

Number: SNP-06-2016

Date: February 2016

Reference: U.S. Department of Agriculture Policy Memo SP 02-14, April 9, 2002; Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, parts 210 and 220

Supersedes: Management Bulletin 02-112 (September 2002)

Subject: Interagency Agreements in School Food Service


This Management Bulletin (MB) supersedes MB 02-112 and updates the California Department of Education (CDE) Interagency Agreement form. The CDE reminds school food authorities (SFA) that they must execute an interagency agreement when adding an unaffiliated school to their School Nutrition Program (SNP) Permanent Single Agreement (PSA) with the CDE. An interagency agreement establishes the terms and conditions by which an SFA provides meals to and claims reimbursement for meals served to students in an unaffiliated school. An unaffiliated school is one that is not under the SFA’s administrative jurisdiction, such as a private school or a non public school.

In order to participate in the SNPs under an SFA, unaffiliated schools must meet specific eligibility criteria. The SFA must obtain and submit to the CDE:

  • A letter from the Internal Revenue Service certifying that the unaffiliated school is exempt from federal taxes under Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3). This is not necessary for public schools and programs operated by a county office of education.
  • Evidence that the unaffiliated school meets the definition of a school under Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations (7 CFR), sections 210.2, 215.2, and 220.2 by providing the following:

    • Public schools: Entry of the County-District-School code on the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS) site application

    • Charter schools: Entry of the charter school number on the CNIPS site applications

    • Private schools: a copy of the private school affidavit—the private school can provide this information

    • Residential Child Care Institutions: Copy of their facility license issued by the California Department of Social Services, Licensing and Certification Division. The license must show that the facility is licensed as a group home for the care of children.

The SFA must submit a fully executed copy of their interagency agreement to the CDE with the unaffiliated school’s proof of eligibility. Upon CDE approval, the SFA may then add site applications to their CNIPS account for each site from the unaffiliated school at which they will provide meal service. The CDE Nutrition Services Division School Nutrition Programs Unit must approve all site applications in the CNIPS prior to an SFA claiming reimbursement for those sites.

Additionally, if at the time of application the unaffiliated school is participating under a different SFA’s PSA, then that SFA must submit a completed site drop form for each site to the CDE. The site drop form is located in the CNIPS Download Forms section, Form ID SNP-01. The CDE cannot approve an SFA’s request to add currently participating unaffiliated schools to its PSA until this step is complete.

The CDE recommends that SFAs use the CDE’s Sample Interagency Agreement (PDF) form or SFAs may develop their own. If the SFA develops its own interagency agreement it must, at a minimum, clearly specify the length of time it is effective and each party’s responsibility to perform the following:

  • Point-of-service meal counts
  • Management of the free and reduced-price (F/RP) meal process
  • Approval of F/RP meal applications
  • Verification processes
  • Payment of any over claims identified during reviews or audits
  • Performing edit checks
  • Meal count and claiming responsibility

The CDE reminds sponsors that National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program requirements in 7 CFR, parts 210 and 220, apply in full to all sites at which a sponsor operates the SNP for an unaffiliated school.

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact your School Nutrition Programs Specialist. A list of Specialists is available in the Download Forms section of the CNIPS, Form ID Case load. You can also contact the School Nutrition Programs Office Technician by phone at 916-322-3005 or 800-952-5609, Option 2 to be directed to your Contract Specialist.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, May 24, 2022
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