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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 in California to grow, learn, and thrive.

Our Child Nutrition Programs (CNP) offer meals and snacks in schools, parks, and other community agencies.

Each instructional day, California’s six million public school children have access to a nutritious breakfast and lunch as well as meals during the summer. Together, more than 630 million meals and snacks at over 22,000 sites were served through the course of the year.


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 disasters, recalls, policy requirements, management bulletins, trainings, funding opportunities, recognition, and other topics for program operators of the CNPs.

Meal Programs

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

  • Food Distribution Program
    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 Staff Education and Training
    Helpful information for new School Nutrition Program (SNP) professionals and includes an overview of the School Nutrition and Summer Nutrition Programs, recommended online trainings, key resources, and program contact information.

  • Course Catalog
    A catalog of online courses for program operators participating in the 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
    An overview of the areas that will be reviewed during the Administrative Reviews 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.

  • Grants, Recognition and Appropriations
    Information on grant opportunities, recognition programs, and appropriations available to program operators of the CNPs.

  • 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 the Food Distribution Program.

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: Wednesday, July 5, 2023
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  • 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
  • Rural Non-congregate Meals Listening Session (added 11-Apr-2024)
    The CDE will host a Listening Session on Tuesday, April 30 from 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm on the rural non-congregate meal service option for summer meal programs.
  • Summer Meals Turnip the Beet Award Winners 2023 (added 09-Apr-2024)
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the 2023 Turnip the Beet award winners on March 13, 2024.
  • 2022 KIT $15 Million Funding Award Available (added 09-Apr-2024)
    Announcement regarding the availability of the 2022 Kitchen Infrastructure and Training fund, $15 million residual award amounts, including information on the timing of payment, accounting information, and use of funds.
  • School Lunch Hero Day—May 3, 2024 (added 05-Apr-2024)
    The School Food Hero Day is May 3, 2024. This month is the perfect time to celebrate and recognize the role that food service professionals play in supporting student health, school meals, and learning.
  • S-EBT Notification for CALPADS Administrators (added 04-Apr-2024)
    CALPADS Flash #269 sent on March 19, 2024. This Flash provides information for CALPADS administrators about the process of collecting data for the upcoming 2024 Summer EBT Program (also known as SUNBucks).