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CNAC Meeting Minutes for August 27, 2009


Child Nutrition Advisory Council

An Advisory Body to the State Board Of Education
Meeting Minutes

August 27, 2009
9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

California Department of Education
Nutrition Services Division
560 J Street, Suite 270
Sacramento, CA 95814

Members Present


Leann Onasch (Chair) School Food Service Supervisor/ Manager
Phyllis Bramson-Paul (Executive Secretary) California Department of Education (CDE), Nutrition Services Division (NSD)
Lucy McProud Nutrition Education Health Specialist
Jody Ornelias School Food Service Director
Robin Sinks Curriculum Coordinator
Diane Grooms School Board Member
John Peukert School Business Official (Advisory)


Brenda Padilla Assistant Director NSD
Stephanie Ewing Child Nutrition Consultant, NSD
Sonia Donoyan Glendale Community College
Barbara Lee Livermore Joint Union School District
Erin Abramson California Department of Public Health
Members Absent


Debra Mason Lay Person
Patricia Klotz PTA Representative
Ruth Bloom Board Liaison
Tracy Vernon Classroom Teacher
Paula James Child Care Food Program
Molly O’ Kane Nutrition Specialist

Call to order (Leann Onasch)

Ms. Leann Onasch, Child Nutrition Advisory Council (CNAC) Chair, called the meeting to order at 9:45 a.m. The Pledge of Allegiance followed.


All members and guests introduced themselves.

Public Comment

No public comment was provided.

Approval of Agenda and April 22, 2009, Meeting Minutes

The meeting minutes from April 22, 2009, were approved by a unanimous vote.

Budget and Nutrition Services Update - Phyllis Bramson-Paul

Meal Reimbursement

State meal reimbursement (21.95 cents) was not touched in the July budget revision.  However, because of increased participation, meal reimbursement funds will be reduced significantly in late spring. This reduction might be accomplished by reducing State meal reimbursement earlier than May and/or by reducing the meal reimbursement to less than the $0.06 paid in May and June of 2009. The California Department of Education (CDE) will send out a notice to that effect soon.

California Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS)

The CNIPS project has made significant progress implementing the School Nutrition module implemented in August 2008 and the Summer Food Service module going live in August 2009. The Food Distribution Module is well underway and should be implemented in January 2010.

Equipment Grant

The Nutrition Services Division (NSD) awarded $12.8 million in federal school kitchen equipment grant funds on June 30, 2009. The process revealed the great needs that exist as the NSD was only able to fund 18 percent of applications. Eighty-two percent of fund recipients were small to medium districts. The NSD sent feedback letters to those applicants ineligible due to errors such as incomplete, late, or unsigned applications.

Contracting Out for Food Service

Many local educational agencies (LEAs) are looking for ways to reduce costs, including contracting for services. Over the past few years the NSD has found many school districts have changed from preparing their own meals or utilizing neighboring school districts meals to contracting with outside meal vendors for the preparation, service, and/or delivery of school meals.

While this practice may assist the school district in reducing costs, California Education Code Section 49554 requires a school district or county superintendent of schools, prior to contracting with an outside meal vendor to:

  • Demonstrate it has had no food service employees since July 1, 1977, or
  • Demonstrate it has inadequate or no food preparation facilities

If the NSD approves the district has met one of the above criteria then the district must contact all school districts in the county and the County Office of Education (COE) to see if any are willing or able to provide such services.

If no schools or the COE are able/willing to provide meals, the district can then utilize an outside meal vendor using the approved competitive bid process.

Health Framework

Due to the newly enacted budget, there will be no changes in frameworks or textbook adoption for at least five years, including the health framework.

Child Care Pilot

The report Keeping Children Healthy in California’s Child Care Environments provided recommendations for improving the nutrition and health environment of child care and home daycare facilities. As a first step in implementation of the recommendations, NSD is using federal and private funding for the Linking Education, Environment, Activity, and Food (LEEAF) pilot project. This program will pilot test new nutrition standards for healthier meals and physical activity opportunities in a variety of child care settings. Assemblywoman Brownley’s AB 627 specifically authorizes this project. NSD planning is underway.

Wellness Conference

The School Wellness Conference, co-sponsored by the CDE, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), and the California School Boards Association (CSBA), will be held on October 5-7. Session information is available on the California School Boards Association External link opens in new window or tab. Web site.


This is the year for the Congressional Child Nutrition and WIC Program Reauthorization. CDE has contracted with Barry Sackin to further CDE’s Child Nutrition priorities. One key goal is to increase access to program benefits by adjusting the meal reimbursement rates and income eligibility by region to address cost of living disparities.

Team Nutrition Program - Violet Roefs, Sonia Donayan, and Barbara Lee

Starting Right in Child Nutrition Programs is a community college-based training program for front-line or production level school food service workers. The USDA awarded a two-year grant in October 2007 to establish ongoing partnerships between community colleges and school districts in California. The program has four goals:

  • Training teams of chefs, dietitians, and child nutrition directors to become trainers in community college programs
  • Training the target group using the National Food Service Management Curriculum, Healthy Cuisine for Kids
  • Initiating regional networks for training and support based on the County Superintendent’s school district regions
  • Establishing a college-based career path for food service workers with statewide, sustainable, accredited, and consistent certificate programs

Five school districts were selected and issued mini-grants for the initial training:

  • Glendale USD
  • Inglewood USD
  • Irvine, USD
  • Livermore Valley Joint USD
  • Merced City ESD

Community college partners are:

  • Glendale Community Colleges
  • Merced Community Colleges
  • Orange Coast Community College

The training consisted of lecture, demonstrations, and labs; participants were enthusiastic about the program.  The program is being evaluated by Dr. Barbara Dietsch from WestEd, and the results should be available in October 2009.

The NSD is working on new funding proposals to continue adding more districts and community colleges to the program. Projected new courses will include Beginning Record Keeping and an Overview of Child Nutrition Programs. Other culinary courses already offered, such as food safety and advanced food preparation training, could also be included in the certificate program.

Feedback from the Council:

  • There will be difficulties in determining compensation to staff, which must be uniquely handled by each district.
  • Include unions in the regional advisory groups since their support is critical to success of the program.
  • The desired on-going longevity of the program depends on the program being tied with other food service/culinary programs at community colleges.
  • Class scheduling times must keep staff working schedules in mind.

The Council acknowledged the significant work of the Team Nutrition project leaders and will place the evaluation report of this program on the agenda for the December meeting.

Obesity Prevention Plan - Phyllis Bramson-Paul and Erin Abramsohn

The Council looked at the very rough draft of CDPH’s plan for obesity prevention in California, which is being expanded under a grant from the Centers for Disease Control. The Council members were encouraged to submit written recommendations on an electronic copy of the first revision of the draft. During the discussion three key issues emerged:

  • Priorities should to be established.
  • Items in the plan should be simplified or consolidated.
  • Items should be clarified.
    • What items should be requirements and what should be recommendations?
    • What needs funding?
    • What is now in place but should be continued or strengthened?

The NSD will send the draft to council members after consultation with the California School Nutrition Association and the California Association for School Business Officials.

Meal Application Confidentiality - Brenda Padilla

Brenda distributed a draft of a policy regarding the transfer from school to school of information to facilitate application for school meal programs. The policy prohibits the use of meal application information for any purpose other than meal application. A brief discussion followed on the implementation of the policy at the school level.

Pandemic Planning - Stephanie Ewing

The USDA has issued new guidelines which provide an opportunity for schools to feed children free meals (funded through the Summer Food Service Program [SFSP] or the Seamless Summer Feeding Option [SSFO]) when schools are closed or dismissed by a state or local public health official. To be approved to serve meals during a closure or dismissal, the school must either already be approved for the SSFO or SFSP or apply for approval for the one of the two programs. Additionally, there is a waiver form to complete which provides specific details about the operation and the meal program during a closure or dismissal. A school is not required to have 50 per cent of its students participating in free and reduced priced meals for approval but must provide details on how the school will target low income students. This is an option, not a requirement, and how it is executed is up to the individual district.

Next Meeting

The next meeting was originally scheduled for October 21, 2009, but Phyllis Bramson-Paul and Paula James will be attending the Roundtable conference. Council members can expect a Doodle to help choose an alternate meeting date.


The meeting was adjourned at 3:20 pm.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, June 6, 2017
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