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Nutrition


The California Department of Education (CDE) Nutrition Services Division (NSD) is committed to a well-nourished and educated California. We support and protect access to nutritious meals for children and adults in California to grow, learn, and thrive.

Our Child Nutrition Programs (CNP) offer meals and snacks in schools, child care and adult care centers, day care homes, parks, and other community agencies.

Together we serve nearly 6 million nutritious meals at over 34,000 locations daily.


How can we help? Share your experience with NSD. Take our survey.

Program News | Meal Programs | Education, Training, and Professional Development | Program Resources | Program Operator Feedback | Latest Tweets

Program News

  • Nutrition What's New
    News and announcements relating to nutrition for program operators.

  • COVID-19 Guidance in the CNP
    Provides background information, policy waivers, guidance, claiming and reimbursements requirements, resources, FAQs, and state agency contacts for program sponsors operating the Child Nutrition Programs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meal Programs

  • School Nutrition Programs (SNP)
    Information about meal, snack, and milk programs offered at public and private nonprofit schools and residential child care institutions. The SNPs include the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, Special Milk Program, Seamless Summer Option and State Meal Program.

  • Child and Adult Care Food Program
    This web page includes background information, steps on how to apply, the Administrative Manual, meal pattern requirements, claiming information, policy guidance, compliance, trainings, resources, and contacts for program operators.

  • Food Distribution Program (FDP)
    Information about the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foods, Department of Defense Fresh Program, distribution centers, and processing of USDA Foods.

  • Summer Food Service Programs
    Federal meal programs for children from low-income areas during vacation and off-track periods.

  • After School
    Provides after school program operators with background information, a comparison chart of available programs, meal pattern charts, directions on how to apply, claiming instructions, policy guidance, resources, and more. 

  • Meal Programs–CalEdFacts page
    Summary of meal programs offered in California.

Education, Training, and Professional Development

  • Food Service Education and Training
    Education and training information for child nutrition professionals in school food service, nutrition, and food safety.

  • CNPs Course Catalog
    A catalog of online courses for program operators participating in the CNPs.

  • CNPs Resource Library
    A library of online resources for program operators participating in the CNPs.

  • Healthy Eating and Nutrition Education
    Information about improving nutrition and establishing healthy eating habits in school, child care, adult, and afterschool settings. Includes information about local school wellness policies.

Program Resources

  • Disaster Guidance
    Includes resources, claiming and reimbursement information, policy guidance, and contacts for all disasters that affect the CNPs

  • Administrative Review (AR)
    An overview of the areas that will be reviewed during the AR by a Nutrition Program Consultant from the CDE NSD.

  • Appeal Process for CNPs
    An overview of the appeal process for the CNPs administered by the CDE.

  • Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS)
    The CNIPS is an online system for local sponsors of federal food programs to easily submit and track the status of their applications, claims, changes, and commodity requests to the CDE.

  • Claim Reimbursements
    Fiscal information to aid nutrition sponsors and to provide information about claiming meal reimbursements.

  • Food Program Data
    CNPs data and statistics, including county profiles, free and reduced-price meals data, school meal nutrition analysis, and summer meal service sites.

  • Legislation, Regulations, and Policies
    State and federal regulations and other CNP guidance including management bulletins and policy memoranda, proposed regulations, legislative reports, and policy recommendations for nutrition program administration.

  • Procurement in CNPs
    Federal and state information for the procurement of food service related goods and services across all federally funded CNPs and the USDA Foods Program.

  • Rates, Eligibility Scales, and Funding
    Reimbursement rates, annual eligibility scales, and funding information.

  • USDA Civil Rights and Complaints
    USDA Food and Nutrition Service policies and procedures about nondiscrimination in the administration of the CNPs and FDP.

Program Operator Feedback

  • NSD Customer Service Survey
    How can we help? Share your experience with us. Your experience with NSD and input is important to us. The NSD will use this feedback to improve our support and communication of information to CNP operators. This survey can be taken at any time.

CDE Nutrition on Twitter

For the latest CDE nutrition news and information, follow @CDENutrition External link opens in new window or tab. on Twitter.


Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Thursday, October 22, 2020
Related Content
  • Community Eligibility Provision
    The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) provides School Nutrition Program (SNP) sponsors an alternative method for claiming student meals in high poverty schools.
  • Competitive Foods and Beverages
    Information on competitive foods and beverages including definitions, background, compliance, resources, policy guidance, and frequently asked questions for sponsors participating in the National School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program.
  • Drinking Water for Students in Schools
    Provides background, health implications, policy guidance, best practices, and funding opportunities regarding the requirement for school districts to provide access to free, potable drinking water during meal times.
  • School Nutrition Programs Eligibility
    Each school year, local educational agencies must determine and certify a student’s eligibility to qualify for free and reduced-price meals or free milk benefits.
  • Summer Meal Service Sites
    Provides parents and referral agencies with a list of locations where children may receive free nutritious meals during school vacation and off-track periods.
Recently Posted in Nutrition
  • CA LSWP Triennial Assessment Template Webinar (added 14-Oct-2021)
    The California Local School Wellness Policy Collaborative is hosting Winning at Wellness webinars every two months to provide an opportunity for schools to discuss updates in local school wellness policy requirements, best practices and resources.
  • SNP AR Prereview Training for Schools (added 14-Oct-2021)
    4. The School Nutrition Program (SNP) Administrative Review (AR) Prereview Training for schools provides an overview of the AR and shares tips, strategies, and best practices for a successful AR.
  • SNP AR Prereview Training for RCCIs (added 14-Oct-2021)
    The School Nutrition Program (SNP) Administrative Review (AR) Prereview Training for residential child care institutions (RCCI) provides an overview of the AR and shares tips, strategies, and best practices for a successful AR.
  • Procurement Options in Public Emergencies (added 11-Oct-2021)
    Procurement option information related to supply chain disruptions.
  • CACFP ECR Listening Session October 28 2:00 PM (added 06-Oct-2021)
    The California Department of Education (CDE) is announcing a Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) listening session to review the next steps for the Emergency Operational Costs Reimbursement Program.

  • COVID–19: Child Nutrition Response #101-106 (added 04-Oct-2021)
    On September 22, 2021, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service released policy memos #101-106 that provide flexibilities for service institutions operating the SFSP and SSO during unanticipated school closures due to COVID-19.
  • SNP Meal Pattern Waiver for SY 2021–22—REMINDER (added 30-Sep-2021)
    The Nutrition Services Division (NSD) is sending a reminder regarding the School Nutrition Program’s (SNP) Meal Pattern Waiver (MPW) application that applies from October 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022.
  • Update: School Year 2021–22 Waiver Elections (added 29-Sep-2021)
    The California Department of Education has provided an updated waiver election process for CNP Operators for SY 2021-22 due to recent supply chain issues and revised direction from USDA.
  • Changing Participation Avenue for USDA Foods (added 29-Sep-2021)
    Announcing the annual opportunity to change participation avenues for the ordering and receipt of U.S. Department of Agriculture Foods for School Year 2022–23.
  • August 24, 2021 Tuesday at 2 Webinar (added 29-Sep-2021)
    August 24, 2021 Tuesday at 2: School Nutrition Program Webinar.