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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 nearly 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

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 (CACFP)
    Information about meal programs offered at public and private child care centers, day care homes, adult day care centers, and homeless shelters under the CACFP.

  • 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
    Information and resources about healthy snacks, nutrition education, and physical activity for afterschool programs.

  • 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

  • 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: Monday, April 6, 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
  • Webinar: Tuesdays @ 2 School Nutrition Town Hall (added 22-May-2020)
    The CDE NSD is hosting virtual town hall events every two weeks to provide an opportunity for schools to discuss their plans and best practices for reopening their food service operations while mitigating COVID-19 risks.
  • P-EBT Phase 2: Online Application Now Open (added 22-May-2020)
    The Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT) Online Application is now open. Families with children who are eligible for Free or Reduced-Price meals that have not yet received a P-EBT card in the mail, can now apply for P-EBT benefits online.
  • FFVP Operations: Questions and Answers #2 (added 22-May-2020)
    Policy Memorandum SP 19-2020 FFVP during COVID-19 Questions and Answers #2 provides clarification on questions related to the administration of the FFVP during unanticipated school closures during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • CDE Early Math Symposium (added 22-May-2020)
    The California Department of Education (CDE) is happy to announce that the annual Early Math Symposium for day care home providers will continue this year as an online event on Friday, June 26, 2020.
  • USDA Child Nutrition Responses #21–25 (added 20-May-2020)
    The USDA released several Policy Memorandums that announced Child Nutrition Responses which include five waivers that are intended to provide clarification to state agencies and CNP operators during COVID-19 public health emergency.

  • Health and Safety Supplies Needs Assessment Survey (added 14-May-2020)
    To assist our sponsoring agencies who are serving their community during this health crisis, the CDE NSD is assessing the emergency supply needs for program operators who have been providing meals during the COVID-19 unanticipated school closures.
  • Pandemic EBT Frequently Asked Questions (added 14-May-2020)
    The California Department of Education (CDE) and Department of Social Services (CDSS) are partnering on the administration of Pandemic-EBT (P-EBT) in California.
  • CNIPS Application Requirement Reminder (added 08-May-2020)
    The CDE NSD CNPU would like to remind SFSP and SSO sponsors to keep meal service site information and meal service dates and times entered in their Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS) site applications updated and current.
  • COVID-19: USDA Child Nutrition Responses (added 08-May-2020)
    Policy Memorandums announcing Child Nutrition Responses which include four waivers and one questions and answers document. These are intended to provide clarification to state agencies and CNP operators during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • COVID-19: CDE Handout and Fact Sheets (added 06-May-2020)
    The CDE NSD is providing additional resources to support local educational agencies during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.