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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.

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

Meal Programs

  • School Nutrition
    Information about meal, snack, and milk programs offered at public and private nonprofit schools and residential child care institutions. School Nutrition Programs 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
    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

Program Resources

  • Administrative Review
    An overview of the areas that will be reviewed during the administrative review 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 a web-based system for local sponsors of federal food programs to more 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.

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

  • 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: Friday, January 3, 2020
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  • 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
  • Summer Food Service Program Information (updated 15-Jan-2020)
    Administrative and operational information and guidance for organizations that participate in the program.
  • Earned Income Tax Credit Information Act (added 10-Jan-2020)
    The California Revenue and Taxation Code (RTC) Section 19853(b) requires local educational agencies (LEA) that operate the National School Lunch Program to annually notify households about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Information Act.
  • 2021 SBP and SMP Grants Available! (added 10-Jan-2020)
    The California Department of Education (CDE) Nutrition Services Division is sending this message to announce the availability of School Year 2020–21 School Breakfast Program (SBP) and Summer Meal Programs (SMP) Start-up and Expansion Grants.
  • Proposition 12 Public Comment Period (added 10-Jan-2020)
    California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) open comment period regarding the draft regulation for Proposition 12, the Farm Animal Confinement Initiative.
  • New USDA Justice for All Posters Now Available (added 10-Jan-2020)
    The new U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) And Justice for All posters have arrived.

  • Overview: Competitive Food and Beverage Rules (added 03-Jan-2020)
    The School Nutrition Programs Overview, Definitions, and Resources: Competitive Food and Beverage Rules online training.
  • Community Eligibility Provision - Upcoming Review (added 03-Jan-2020)
    The purpose of this notice is to inform you that we will be conducting an off-site validation review of the identified student percentage (ISP) that was established upon approval for your participation in the CEP.
  • CNAC Member Recruitment 2020 (added 03-Jan-2020)
    The State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) Child Nutrition Advisory Council (CNAC) is currently recruiting.
  • School Nutrition Success Workshops December 2019 (added 03-Jan-2020)
    Register today to participate in a Team Up for School Nutrition Success (Team Up) workshop.
  • CACFP Ounce Equivalents for Grains Worksheet (added 03-Jan-2020)
    To help program operators transition to the use of ounce equivalents, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has released the Using Ounce Equivalents for Grains in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) worksheet.