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COVID-19 School Nutrition Program (SNP) Updates

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Main Web Page

Subject: COVID-19 School Nutrition Program Updates

Dear School Nutrition Partners:

We want to thank you for the support that you and your teams are providing to your communities during this incredibly difficult time. We understand the challenges that you face with this constantly evolving situation and are doing our best to provide you with the support that you need.

We are working closely with our U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) counterparts to answer questions and provide you all with the most updated guidance. In an effort to not inundate your mailboxes, we are posting all guidance and updates to the California Department of Education (CDE) COVID-19 School Meals web page. Please be sure to bookmark this page and check back each Friday for updated guidance.

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak and school closures, the CDE Nutrition Services Division Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) is extending the online application deadline for the 2020–21 FFVP grant to Tuesday, March 31, 2020, at 4 p.m.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can my district provide meals in a non-congregate setting due to COVID-19?

A: Yes, with CDE approval. Schools or other community organizations that are approved to operate the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) or Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) can serve non-congregate meals during COVID-19 at school sites that are dismissed or closed.

Q: Can my district offer meal delivery or provide meals for multiple days?

A: Yes, with CDE approval. Per the USDA’s SP 08-2020 Meal Service During COVID-19 Questions and Answers, districts may offer meals for multiple days, up to one week at a time. The USDA recently released COVID-19 SFSP and SSO Meal Delivery questions and answer guideExternal link opens in new window or tab. (PDF).

Q: Do children have to be present at meal sites in order to receive a meal?

A: Currently, yes. The USDA has not allowed for meal distribution without children being present. We continue to be in contact with our federal partners for flexibility in this area.

Waiver Requests

If you would like to request a waiver for non-congregate feeding or home meal delivery or offering meals for multiple days, up to one week at a time, please submit a request to with the following information:

  • Name of school(s) covered by waiver request
  • At what point following school dismissal the meal service would start
  • What meal distribution method(s) the institution will use and how the waiver will target the children in the dismissed schools
  • How the meal distribution will target low-income children, if the school does not have 50 percent or more free and reduced-price children enrolled
  • Methods for communicating with families
  • How the program operator will ensure proper operation of the program including meal content, meal counts, food safety, and oversight.
  • Time of meal distribution if offering meal deliveries
CA Meals for Kids App

The CDE CA Meals for Kids mobile app has been updated to help students and families find meals during COVID-19-related emergency school closures. We want to help you get the word out about your sites, but we need your help. The information that populates the meals sites data is generated from our Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS). Please enter the information for your sites in CNIPS site application. The app is updated daily. The app is available for free download through Apple’s App StoreExternal link opens in new window or tab., Google’s Play StoreExternal link opens in new window or tab., and Microsoft’s App StoreExternal link opens in new window or tab. web pages.

Contact Information

If you have questions regarding meal service during COVID-19, please contact your SNP County Specialist. The SNP County Specialist list is available in the Download Forms section of CNIPS, Form ID Caseload.

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Friday, March 20, 2020
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