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Food Service Staff Education & Training

Information for the new School Nutrition Program (SNP) professionals and an overview of the School Nutrition and Summer Nutrition Programs, online trainings, resources, and program contact information.

Overview

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers the federal Child Nutrition Programs (CNP); the California Department of Education (CDE) Nutrition Services Division (NSD) is the oversight agency for the following CNPs in California: the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), NSLP Afterschool Snack Program (NSLP ASP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), Special Milk Program (SMP), Food Distribution Program (FDP), Summer Food Service Programs (SFSP), and NSLP Seamless Summer Option (SSO). Additionally in concert with the NSLP and SBP, the state of California has a state meal mandate often referred to as the Universal Meals Program (UMP) which requires public school districts, county offices of education and charter schools to offer, at no cost, a nutritiously adequate breakfast and lunch that complies with the SBP and NSLP meal standards to all students each school day.

The successful implementation of these programs requires a strong understanding of the federal and state laws, policies, and procedures that govern and direct them. To that end, the CDE has assembled key resources and recommendations to help orient new food service staff to these requirements. While there are additional CDE NSD resources, trainings, and supports available on a broader range of school nutrition topics, this page provides a starting point for new staff by highlighting only the critical elements.

New Food Service Staff Web Guide

The purpose of this web guide is to help acquaint new food service directors and staff operating the SNPs with the content on this web page and to act as a gateway to other important NSD web pages.

Web Guide

Link Activity

Overview of SNPs tab

Review the short overviews of the SNPs to become familiar with the programs. This tab also provides a link to each of the nutrition programs’ main web page.

Nutrition What's New web page

Check the Nutrition What's New web page for recent news and announcements relating to SNPs, such as disasters, food recalls, training opportunities, state and federal policy requirements, management bulletins, funding and recognition, and more. This is where the CDE posts all newly released information related to the SNPs after it has been emailed to the SNP Mailing List.

SNP Mailing List web page

Sign up for the SNP Mailing List to receive communications from the NSD.

Summer Food Service Program Mailing List web page

Sign up for the Summer Food Service Mailing List to receive SFSP communications from the NSD.

NSD Town Hall Meetings

Attend the monthly SNP Town hall meetings facilitated by the NSD. The town hall meetings review policy, provide reminders about upcoming deadlines, share best practices, announce funding opportunities, and address questions. These town halls are announced in the Nutrition What's New web page under the Disaster tab. Live town halls are held on the 4th Tuesday of every month at 2 p.m. After the meeting, the PowerPoint slide deck is posted on the COVID-19 Guidance in the CNP web page under the Webinar tab. 

Child Nutrition Information & Payment System (CNIPS) web page External link opens in new window or tab.

Become familiar with the CNIPS. The CNIPS is the web-based system for claiming, reimbursement, and administering reviews for the federal and state child nutrition programs. The CDE also houses a number of important programmatic forms and documents in the CNIPS Resources section. For general information about the CNIPS and for training videos, visit the CDE CNIPS web page. For questions and username and password information, email the CNIPS Help Team at CNIPS@cde.ca.gov.

COVID-19 Guidance in the CNP web page

Review the COVID-19 Guidance in the CNPs web page for all COVID-19-related guidance including: policy waivers, current guidance, resources, and frequently asked questions (FAQs). For all other disasters such as fires, floods, earthquakes, and significant power outages, visit the Disaster Guidance for Child Nutrition Programs.

School Nutrition Programs Management Bulletins web page

Review federal and state policy information on the School Nutrition Programs Management Bulletins web page by topic. Examples of topics include: Meal Pattern Requirements, Competitive Foods, Compliance, Procurement, Farm to School, Financial and Resource Management Guidance, Administrative Reviews, and more.

Summer Food Service Program Management Bulletins web page

Review federal and state policy information on the Summer Food Service Program Management Bulletins web page by topic. Examples of topics include: meal pattern requirements, compliance, financial management standards, meal site types and requirements, outreach, site reviews, and more.

Trainings tab

Select the Trainings tab in this New Food Service Staff Education and Training web page to review a list of recommended trainings and tips to assist with prioritizing trainings based on your operations; this list is geared towards new program operators, including food service directors and staff.

Course Catalog web page

Once completing the list of recommended trainings on the Training tab, visit the CDE Course Catalog online trainings database for an extensive library of additional continuing education opportunities for food service directors and staff operating the SNPs.

Resource Library web page

Visit the CDE Resource Library for free resources related to Nutrition Education, Recipes, Cooking in the Classroom, and Physical Activity.

Grants, Recognition, and Appropriations web page

Frequent this funding and recognition web page for grant opportunities, recognition programs, and appropriations available to program operators of the SNPs. Note that this listing contains opportunities for all of CDE; the NSD What’s New web page will list opportunities specific to nutrition services.

Administrative Reviews (AR)

Review information, regulations, procedures, and updates on the SNP administrative review. Also includes the current SNP AR schedule.

Rates, Eligibility Scales & Funding

Find annual reimbursement rates and eligibility scales for the Child Nutrition Programs as well as a listing of available grant opportunities. Find annual reimbursement rates and eligibility scales for the Child Nutrition Programs as well as a listing of available grant funds.

Definitions tab

Select the Definitions tab in this New Food Service Staff Education and Training web page to reference definitions, acronyms, and commonly used terms in the SNPs.

Contacts tab

Select the Contacts tab in this New Food Service Staff Education and Training web page, to find a list of NSD staff members that are available to answer your specific questions.

Overview of School Nutrition Programs

Below is an overview of the School Nutrition Programs (SNPs), administered by the USDA and overseen by the CDE NSD. For more information, visit the CDE’s SNP web page.

  • Child Nutrition Programs (CNP) – This broad term encompasses all of the federal meal programs that provide healthy, nutritious meals and snacks to the children. Through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP), children have access to healthy meals and snacks during the school day. Through the Special Milk Program (SMP), school children who do not have access to other meal programs can supplement their day with a serving of milk. Through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), children are provided healthy meals during those times when school is closed for the summer or extended breaks. Another option for summer meal service is the Seamless Summer option (SSO), a federal program that encourages schools participating in NSLP and SBP to provide meals in low-income areas during the summer. Through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), children in childcare settings have access to healthy meals and snacks. Day care centers and home day care providers can participate in the CACFP programs. Please note: As of July 1, 2021, the administration of the CACFP in California has moved to and is now administered by the Department of Social Services. Visit the CDSS CACFP web page External link opens in new window or tab. for information on the CACFP.

  • School Nutrition Programs – The term SNP is used to refer to the federally funded meal programs operating in public and nonprofit private schools, charter schools, and residential child care institutions throughout the United States. The term includes the NSLP, NSLP Afterschool Snack Program (ASP), SSO, SBP, SMP, and Food Distribution Program (FDP). Each of these programs plays a role in supporting and providing nutritious and culturally relevant meals to students during the school day. The USDA administers the SNPs nationally and in California, these programs are overseen by the CDE NSD.

  • Universal Meals Program – Starting in School Year (SY) 2022–23, the California state meal mandate expanded, and the set of requirements are often collectively referred to as the Universal Meals Program. California’s state meal mandate requires public school districts, county offfices of education, and charter schools to make available a nutritiously adequate breakfast and lunch for all pupils each school day at no cost to the student, regardless of their meal program eligibility. The state meal mandate also requires all public school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools with high poverty schools to adopt a federal provision, such as the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) or Provision 2. Ultimately, Universal Meals builds on the foundations of the federal NSLP and SBP, maximizing federal reimbursement through these programs and providing additional state funds so that all meals served are reimbursed at the federal ‘free’ rate.

  • National School Lunch Program – The NSLP is a federal meal program operated in public and nonprofit private schools, charter schools, and residential child care institutions and is designed to provided culturally relevant, nutritious lunches to children each school day. Meals include whole grains, fruits and vegetables, low-fat milk and meat/meat alternate options, and must meet specific nutritional standards. Schools participating in the NSLP receive federal meal reimbursement for meals served. Federal meal rates are established at the paid, reduced-price and free levels. Schools participating in the NSLP and SBP can also receive additional state reimbursement through the Universal Meal Program, so that all meals served under the NSLP are served at no cost to the students.

  • Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) – The FFVP is a federal grant program that provides an additional free fresh fruit or vegetable snack to students during the school day as a supplement to (and not part of) the School Breakfast Program (SBP) and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), and teaches students about good nutrition. The FFVP also encourages grantees to develop partnerships at the state and local level for support in implementing and operating the program.
  • School Breakfast Program – The SBP is a federal meal program operated in public and nonprofit private schools, charter schools, and residential child care institutions and is designed to provided culturally relevant, nutritious breakfast to children each school day. Meals must meet specific nutritional standards. Schools participating in the SBP receive federal meal reimbursement for meals served. Federal meal rates are established at the paid, reduced-price and free levels. Schools participating in the NSLP and SBP can also receive additional state reimbursement through the Universal Meal Program, so that all meals served under the SBP are served at no cost to the students.

  • Seamless Summer Option – The SSO is a federal option for NSLP and SBP Operators to provide summer meals for children in areas with low-incomes. The SSO combines features of the NSLP, SBP, and SFSP. Program Operators of the SSO may operate at community or recreational centers, libraries, camps, schools, and other eligible summer meal sites. Participating in the SSO reduces paperwork and administrative burdens, and makes it easier for SFAs to feed children during traditional summer vacation periods in neighborhoods experiencing low incomes and, for year-round schools, during school vacation periods of more than ten days.

  • Summer Food Service Programs – The SFSP is a federally funded program that reimburses operators for administrative and operational costs to provide meals for children 18 years of age and younger during periods when they are out of school for fifteen (15) or more consecutive school days. The SFSP provides an opportunity to continue a child's physical and social development while providing nutritious meals during vacation periods from school. Participation in the SFSP is open to both school and community operators.

  • NSLP Afterschool Snack Program (ASP) – The NSLP ASP is a federal SNP that provides students in afterschool programs a nutritious snack and education activities. The NSLP ASP must follow the NSLP ASP federal meal pattern and provide organized, regularly scheduled activities in a structured and supervised environment. Afterschool programs may also choose to participate in the SFSP to provide a meal to students in their programs, in addition to the NSLP ASP.

  • Special Milk Program – The SMP is a federal program that assists schools and other agencies to provide milk to children at reasonable prices. This program, with one exception, is available to local educational agencies (LEA) that do not participate in NSLP, SBP, CACFP, or SFSP. Participating schools and institutions receive reimbursement from the USDA for each half-pint of milk served. The program must be open to all enrolled students and must operate on a non-profit basis.

  • Food Distribution Program – The Food Distribution Program is a federal Child Nutrition Program that is available to NSLP and SFSP sponsors. The USDA purchases 100 percent domestically-grown foods to support the American agricultural market. These USDA Foods help schools create appealing, nutritious, cost-effective menu options and help schools comply with USDA meal pattern requirements. In addition to USDA Foods, the USDA contracts with the Department of Defense (DoD), Defense Supply Office to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to participants under the DoD Fresh program. The value of USDA Foods and DoD Fresh produce agencies receive is based on a formula that multiplies the number of lunches claimed during the previous year by a per meal rate, which is adjusted annually. This is referred to as entitlement. USDA Foods and DoD Fresh produce may be used in all school meals served to children, including school snack programs and supper.

School Nutrition Program Policy

The School Nutrition Programs are guided by federal and state law, regulations, policy, and guidance. The CDE relays these state and federal requirements to SNP Program Operators through email communications, web pages, webinars, trainings, and management bulletins.

To become an SNP Program Operator, the agency must enter into an official, binding agreement, called the Permanent Single Agreement (PSA), with the CDE. The PSA provides an overview and citations for many of the key state and federal requirements governing the SNPs. The PSA is an excellent reference to help connect operational guidance with the state and federal requirements that shape them. To review your agency’s PSA, visit the Program Operator’s Child Nutrition Information Payment System (CNIPS) External link opens in new window or tab. account, select Download Forms Section, the PSA is form SNP- NSLP-01, and A-E are associated addendums and attachments.

Below is a listing of the various state and federal sources where SNP rules and requirements can be found.

Federal Policy

  • Code of Federal Regulations – The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is an arrangement of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government. The purpose of the CFR is to present the official and complete text of agency regulations in one organized publication and to provide a comprehensive and convenient reference. Specifically, Title 7 of the CFR (7 CFR) contains all of the regulations under the USDA, including the large majority of the SNP rules.

Note that the NSLP SSO does not have a separate Part in the CFR, rather it uses a combination of the NSLP and SFSP regulations.

  • USDA Policy and Question and Answer (Q&A) documents: The USDA routinely releases policy memorandums to states to inform and guide the administration of the SNPs. To help illustrate the application of policy guidance issued, the USDA will frequently release accompanying Q&A documents. These documents anticipate likely questions or scenarios where the policy will be applied and attempt to provide more specific, situational guidance. As the state administrative agency, the CDE then shares the guidance with Program Operators within the context of state law and policy.

State Policy

  • California Education Code External link opens in new window or tab. – The California Education Code (EC) is a collection of all of the state laws directly related to California’s kindergarten through grade 12 (K–12) public schools. EC sections are created or changed by the state Governor and Legislature when laws are passed. Chapter 9 of the EC contains many of the state laws related to the implementation of the SNPs in California, specifically articles 8–12.

  • The California Code of Regulations External link opens in new window or tab. – The California Code of Regulations (CCR) is a collection of all of the state regulations created by the executive departments and agencies of the state of California. Title 5, CCR (5 CCR), Division I, Chapter 15 contains requirements of the Child Nutrition Programs set forth by the CDE.

  • California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Food and Drug Branch External link opens in new window or tab. – The CDPH Food and Drug Branch provides information on food safety regulations and best practices. It also houses the California Retail Food Code (CalCode), a section of the California Health and Safety Code that contains the health and sanitation standards for retail food facilities, including schools.

  • California Contract Law – California Contract Law is an umbrella term for a group of statutory laws, including Common Law, Division 3 of the California Civil Code External link opens in new window or tab. and Uniform Commercial Code External link opens in new window or tab., California Public Contracts Code Sections 20110 through 20118.4 External link opens in new window or tab., and case law. Combined, these define a contract and how a contract can be procured and enforced. These laws also define competitive bidding requirements in order to ensure proper use of public funds, to stimulate competition, and to ensure all qualified bidders have a fair opportunity without concern for favoritism, fraud, and corruption. Specifically, California Public Contract Code Sections 20110-20118, as explained in CDE’s Management Bulletin CNP-12-2018 permit public school districts operating Child Nutrition Programs (CNPs) to follow the federal procurement standards in Title 2, Code of Federal Regulations (2 CFR), sections 200.31-326, which addresses requirements for advertising, contract award, small purchase thresholds, and purchasing through cooperative agreements, agents and third-party services. In summary, when implementing CNPs, California Contract Law, as well as federal contract requirements, will impact how goods and services are procured.

Policy Guidance

For more resources and information visit the CDE’s Legislation, Regulations, & Policies web page.

Trainings and Education

A strong training and education plan is essential for new food service directors and staff for successful operations of the SNPs and to meet the Professional Standards requirements. Additionally, all staff involved with SNP operations must complete annual training. For details on annual training requirements, refer to the CDE Professional Standards Requirements web page.

In-Person Trainings

Information on in-person or one-time online trainings is announced on the Nutrition What's New web page and shared through listserv communications.

Online Trainings

The list that follows is a menu of foundational trainings for new food service directors and staff. While the course catalog has a more extensive inventory of trainings, this listing is meant to support new staff in developing a training plan starting first with the most critical items, which have been listed with tips below. Use this list as a starting point and then move to the course catalog once this content has been mastered.

Nutrition
Administration
Operations

Nutrition

Course Number Course Name Training Topic Target Audience Additional Information

040

Foundations of Nutrition: MyPlate

General Nutrition

Food Service Director and Staff

Learn about the MyPlate recommendations for a healthier lifestyle and how to apply them to everyday choices.  

131

School Breakfast Meal Pattern Requirements

Menu Planning

Food Service Director and Staff

Highly encouraged to better understand the meal pattern requirements of SBP.

215

Competitive Food Requirements—Overview, Definitions, and Resources

General Nutrition

All entities selling foods or beverages to students, on school campus, during the school day, outside of the federally reimbursable school meal program

Use this training along with other information found on the CDE's Competitive Food and Beverage web page to learn about competitive food and beverage sales.

226

School Lunch Meal Pattern Requirements

Menu Planning

Food Service Director and Staff

Highly encouraged to better understand the meal pattern requirements of NSLP.

485

FDP: Maximizing the Use of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foods Entitlement

Menu Planning

Food Service Director and Staff

Highlights best practices for utilizing USDA Foods and is strongly recommended for self-prep sponsors and sponsors new to the Food Distribution Program.

655

Standardizing Recipes

Menu Planning

Food Service Director and Staff

Use the new Food Buying Guide (FBG) online tools to verify your recipes including the FBG Calculator and Shopping List and Recipe Analysis Workbook.

669

FDP: Avenues of Participation

Menu Planning

Food Service Director and Staff

Ideal training for sponsors interested in learning about the different options to participate in the Food Distribution Program and how it affects ordering and receiving USDA Foods and Department of Defense Fresh Fruits and Vegetables.

812

Determining Whole Grain Rich Items in School Meals

General Nutrition

Food Service Director and Staff

Highly encouraged to better understand what qualifies as whole grain rich in the SBP and NSLP meal pattern requirements.

860

Food Distribution Program: Processing USDA Foods and Completing Processing Surveys

Menu Planning

860

Strongly recommended if the program operator participates in the processing program by sending bulk foods to state-approved processors to create finished end products for purchase.

867

FDP: USDA Food Purchasing and Ordering Cycle

Menu Planning

Food Service Director and Staff

Overview of the USDA Foods timeline and explains why menu planning has to be done more than six months before the applicable school year.

887

FDP: How to Complete an Allocation Order

Menu Planning

Food Service Director and Staff

Strongly recommended if the program operator receives USDA Foods product from one of the two State Distribution Centers.

External:
USDA

Navigating the Food Buying Guide Calculator

General Nutrition

Food Service Director and Staff

Use the Food Buying Guide Calculator to create shopping lists to assist in ordering food items for the SNPs

External: Insitute of Child Nutrition (ICN)

Special Dietary Needs External link opens in new window or tab.

Managing Food Allergies in School Nutrition Programs

Food Service Director and Staff

Highly recommended if the program operator has students with special dietary needs.

External: ICN

Recipe Adjustments External link opens in new window or tab.

Standardized Recipes

Food Service Director and Staff

Strongly recommended if the program operator self-preps meals.

External: ICN

Portion Control External link opens in new window or tab.

Food Production

Food Service Director and Staff

Strongly recommended if the program operator self-preps meals.

External: ICN

Weights and Measures External link opens in new window or tab.

Food Production and Portion Control

Food Service Director and Staff

Strongly recommended if the program operator self-preps meals.

External: ICN

Culinary Techniques (CT) 3—Preparing Entrée Items External link opens in new window or tab.

Culinary Techniques

Food Service Director and Staff

Recommended if the program operator self-preps meals.

External: ICN

CT4—Preparing Soups, Eggs, Dairy, and Sauces External link opens in new window or tab.

Culinary Techniques

Food Service Director and Staff

Recommended if the program operator self-preps meals.

External: ICN

CT5—Preparing Breads and Baked Goods External link opens in new window or tab.

Culinary Techniques

Food Service Director and Staff

Recommended if the program operator self-preps meals.

External: ICN

CT6—Using Seasonings External link opens in new window or tab.

Culinary Techniques

Food Service Director and Staff

Recommended if the program operator self-preps meals.

External: ICN

CT1—Introduction External link opens in new window or tab.

Culinary Techniques

Food Service Director and Staff

Recommended if the program operator self-preps meals.

External: ICN

CT2—Preparing Fruits, Vegetables, and Salads External link opens in new window or tab.

Culinary Techniques

Food Service Director and Staff

Recommended if the program operator self-preps meals.

External: ICN

Food Safety in Schools External link opens in new window or tab.

Food Safety

Food Service Director and Staff

Meets the requirement of prior food safety training standard for hiring new directors.

External: National Restaurant Association or local health departments

ServSafe Manager Certification External link opens in new window or tab.

Food Safety

Food Service Director and Staff

Meets the requirement of prior food safety training standard for hiring new directors.

Administration

Course Number Course Name Training Topic Target Audience Additional Information

123

SNP Administrative Review (AR) Prereview Workshop

Administrative  Review

Food Service Director and Staff

Strongly encouraged for the program operator of the SNP’s for best practices for annual review.

124

SNP AR Prereview Workshop – Residential Child Care Institution (ICCI)

Administrative Review

Food Service Director and Staff

Strongly encouraged for all RCCI’s for best practices for annual review.

410

Civil Rights and Complaints in the Child Nutrition Programs

Human Resources

Food Service Director and Staff

This is a training that covers seven civil rights training topics for SNP directors and front-line staff.

495

Community Eligibility Provision (CEP)

Free and Reduced-Price Meal Benefits

Chief Business Officials, Food Service Directors and Staff

Recommended if implementing CEP.

External: ICN

Financial Management, A Course for School Nutrition Directors External link opens in new window or tab.

Financial Management

Food Service Director and Staff

Strongly recommended for all program operators.

External: ICN

Inventory Management—Controlling Cost External link opens in new window or tab.

Financial Management

School Nutrition Managers, School Nutrition Directors, Chefs

Suitable for all program operators.

967

Verification Reporting

Free and Reduced-Price Meal Benefits

Food Service Director and Staff

Suitable for all program operators.

068

Local Meal Charge Policy and Senate Bill 250 Part 1: Local Meal Charge Policy

Meal Charge Policy

Food Service Director, Staff, and Chief Business Officials

Suitable for all program operators.

137

Local Meal Charge Policy and Senate Bill 250 Part 2: Child Hunger Prevention and Fair Treatment Act of 2017

Meal Charge Policy

Food Service Director, Staff, and Chief Business Officials

Suitable for all program operators.

321

Local Meal Charge Policy and Senate Bill 250 Part 3: Resources and Best Practices

Meal Charge Policy

Food Service Director, Staff, and Chief Business Officials

Suitable for all program operators.

605

Local Meal Charge Policy and Senate Bill 250 Part 4: Guidelines to Developing a Meal Charge Policy

Meal Charge Policy

Food Service Director, Staff, and Chief Business Officials

Suitable for all program operators.

371

The Verification Process

Free and Reduced-Price Meal Benefits

Food Service Director and Staff

Suitable for all program operators.

411

SNP Professional Standards: Job Categories

Human Resources and Staff Training

Food Service Directors

Supports implementation of Professional Standards.

Operation

Course Number Course Name Training Topic Target Audience Additional Information

038

Part 1: Introduction to Procurement

 

Procurement

Business officials and food service staff

Required for all program operator participating the CNP.

307

Part 2: Developing a Scope of Work

Procurement

Business officials and food service staff

Required for program operator with small, formal, and/or Food Service Management Company (FSMC) contracts.

097

Part 3a: Intro to Formal Procurement

Procurement

Business officials and food service staff

Required for program operator making CNP purchases over $250,000.

098

Part 3b: Formal Procurement: Invitation for Bids (IFB)

Procurement

Business officials and food service staff

Required for program operator making CNP purchases over $250,000 that use IFBs as solicitations.

099

Part 3c: Formal Procurement: Request for Proposals (RFP)

Procurement

Business officials and food service staff

Required for program operator making CNP purchases over $250,000 that use RFPs as solicitations.

365

FDP: USDA Foods Complaints

Receiving and Storage

Food Service Director and Staff

Strongly recommended if program operator self-preps meals.

679

Part 4: Informal Procurement Methods

Procurement

Business officials and food service staff

Required for program operators making micro-purchases (typically under $10,000, higher thresholds may be allowable, see regulations) and small purchases ($10,000–$250,000).

680

Part 5: Meal Pattern Requirements for Vended Meals

Procurement

Business officials and food service staff

Required for program operator with a vended meals contract.

712

Part 7: Buy American Provision for SNPs

Procurement

Business officials and food service staff

Required for all program operators.

575

FDP: Value Pass Through System and Verifying Refunds and Rebates

Purchasing

Food Service Director and Staff

Strongly recommended if program operator self-preps meals.

Resources

Key resources. Curated list of resources to support priority activities.

General
Nutrition
Policy

General

Resource Description
SNP Quick Reference Guides

The 16 Quick Reference Guides are designed to help orient you to the SNPs. Each Quick Reference Guide addresses standards, program requirements, steps to meet the requirements, and provides links to supportive resources. As federal and state requirements change, these Quick Reference Guides will be updated. Be sure to reference the version date in the footer of each document. You can find the most current Quick Reference Guides in the download forms section of the Child Nutrition Information & Payment System (CNIPS) web page External link opens in new window or tab..

Supply Chain Resources

For those schools experiencing supply chain challenges, visit the USDA Team Nutrition Making Last-Minute Substitutions to your School Meal Menu External link opens in new window or tab. web page for helpful tips to support your meal service operations.

Nutrition

Resource Description
Includes meal pattern requirements, online trainings, resources, compliance, policy guidance, and questions and answers for sponsors participating in the NSLP and SBP.
The USDA Nutrient Analysis Protocols (NAP) Manual provides guidance for the calculation of nutrient analyses of school menus, which allow the school and state agency to provide documentation that the school is meeting the dietary specifications for NSLP and SBP.
Energize Your Day with School Breakfast is a collection of digital resources available on the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) website. The collection can be used by program operators and other stakeholders to establish or expand the breakfast service within their school. The three modules on the website are: “Getting Started with School Breakfast External link opens in new window or tab.,” “Implementing Your Program External link opens in new window or tab.,” and “Marketing Your Program External link opens in new window or tab..”
The USDA Team Nutrition School Breakfast Materials web page External link opens in new window or tab. also includes a training guide on Reducing Added Sugars at School Breakfast External link opens in new window or tab..
The USDA Food Buying Guide (FBG) is the essential resource for food yield information for all child nutrition programs (CNP). The FBG assists CNP operators, food manufacturers, and other stakeholders with purchasing the correct amounts of foods for child nutrition meal programs and determining the contribution that each food makes toward meal pattern requirements. The FBG is available as an Interactive Web-based Tool, Mobile App, and downloadable PDF.

Policy

Resource Description
Federal and state policy information on the School Nutrition Programs Management Bulletins web page by topic.
Federal and state policy information on the Summer Food Management Bulletins web page by topic.
Code of Federal Regulations
The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is an arrangement of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government. The purpose of the CFR is to present the official and complete text of agency regulations in one organized publication and to provide a comprehensive and convenient reference. Specifically, Title 7 of the CFR External link opens in new window or tab. (7 CFR) contains all of the regulations under the USDA, including all of the SNP rules. In addition, 2 CFR includes the grants and agreements rules.
California Education Code (EC) is a collection of all of the state laws directly related to California’s kindergarten through grade 12 (K–12) public schools. EC sections are created or changed by the state Governor and Legislature when laws are passed. Chapter 9 of the EC contains many of the state laws related to the implementation of the SNPs in California, specifically articles 8–12.
California Code of Regulations (CCR) is a collection of the general and permanent rules enacted by the executive departments and agencies of the State Government. The purpose of the CCR is to present the official and complete text of agency regulations in one organized publication and to provide a comprehensive and convenient reference. Specifically, the California Department of Education’s regulations are found under CCR, Title 5, Division 1, Chapter 15, Subchapter 1, Articles 1–6.
California Contract Law
California Contract Law – California Contract Law is an umbrella term for a group of statutory laws, including Common Law, Division 3 of the California Civil Code External link opens in new window or tab. and Uniform Commercial Code External link opens in new window or tab., California Public Contracts Code Sections 20110 through 20118.4 External link opens in new window or tab., and case law. Combined, these define a contract and how a contract can be procured and enforced. These laws also define competitive bidding requirements in order to ensure proper use of public funds, to stimulate competition, and to ensure all qualified bidders have a fair opportunity without concern for favoritism, fraud and corruption. Specifically, California Public Contract Code Sections 20110-20118, as explained in CDE’s Management Bulletin CNP-12-2018 permit public school districts operating Child Nutrition Programs (CNPs) to follow the federal procurement standards in Title 2, Code of Federal Regulations (2 CFR), sections 200.31-326, which addresses requirements for advertising, contract award, small purchase thresholds and purchasing through cooperative agreements, agents and third-party services. In summary, when implementing Child Nutrition Programs, California Contract Law, as well as federal contract requirements, will impact how you procure goods and services.
The California Department of Public Health Food and Drug Branch provides information on food safety regulations and best practices. It also houses the California Retail Food Code (CalCode), a section of the California Health and Safety Code that contains the health and sanitation standards for retail food facilities, including schools.

Definitions

Definitions and Acronyms

After School Programs: The programs that give children and teenagers the nutrition they need, and draw them into constructive activities that are safe, fun, and filled with opportunities for learning after the school day. The federally reimbursable after school programs are under the NSLP and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) External link opens in new window or tab..

Child Nutrition Programs: The global terminology used to represent the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), NSLP Afterschool Snack Program (NSLP ASP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), Special Milk Program (SMP), Food Distribution Program (FDP), NSLP Seamless Summer Option (SSO), Summer Food Service Programs (SFSP) and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) External link opens in new window or tab..  In California, the CACFP is administered by the California Department of Social Services.

Food Distribution Program (FDP): The Food Distribution Program assists agencies by making U.S. Department of Agriculture Foods available to enhance the feeding programs of participants of the Child Nutrition Programs.

Local Educational Agency (LEA): A public board of education or other public authority legally constituted within a state for either administrative control or direction of, or to perform a service function for, public elementary schools or secondary schools in a city, county, township, school district, or other political subdivision of a state, or for a combination of school districts or counties as are recognized in a state as an administrative agency for its public elementary schools or secondary schools.

National School Lunch Program (NSLP): The NSLP assists schools and other agencies to provide nutritious lunches to children at reasonable prices.

Professional Standards: The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA) requires the U.S. Department of Agriculture to create professional standards for state and local SNP personnel. Professional standards for school nutrition professionals establish hiring requirements for certain food service positions and require a minimum amount of annual training hours for all state directors of SNPs, state director of distributing agencies, SNP directors, managers, and staff. Helpful information can be found on the USDA's Professional Standards web page External link opens in new window or tab.

Program Operator: the organization approved by the state administrative agency to operate any one of the federal child nutrition programs.

School Breakfast Program (SBP): The SBP assists schools and other agencies in providing nutritious breakfasts to children at reasonable prices.

School Food Authority (SFA): An administering entity for the operation of a school feeding program. It can receive federal meal reimbursements for administering the meal programs. An SFA may be a school district, several school districts, or individual schools.

School Nutrition Programs (SNP): Within California, any of the following programs: the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), NSLP Afterschool Snack Program (NSLP ASP), School Breakfast Program (SBP), Special Milk Program (SMP), Food Distribution Program (FDP), and NSLP Seamless Summer Option (SSO).

Summer Food Service Program (SFSP): A program that reimburses sponsors for administrative and operational costs to provide meals for children 18 years of age and younger during periods when they are out of school for 15 or more consecutive school days.

Seamless Summer Option (SSO): A program that encourages more public-school districts and county offices of education to provide meals in low income areas during summer and certain other school vacation periods. The SSO combines features of the NSLP, SBP, and SFSP. The SSO reduces paperwork and administrative burdens and makes it easier for sponsors to feed children in low income areas during traditional summer vacation periods and during school vacation periods of longer than 10 days for year-round schools.

Contacts

There are a number of specialized resources to assist you with your questions. Your assigned SNP Analyst is often the place to start. These additional resources may also be helpful.

And Justice for All Posters

You can request And Justice For All posters by emailing AJFAPosters@cde.ca.gov.

Child Nutrition and Information Payment System (CNIPS)

If you have any questions regarding the CNIPS, email CNIPS@cde.ca.gov. For concerns and complaints regarding CNIPs, contact CNPComplaints@cde.ca.gov.

Claims and Reimbursement Analysts

If you need assistance with claims and reimbursement, contact your assigned fiscal analyst which you can find on the CDE Nutrition Services web page, under the Analyst Directory Tab. To submit a corrective action plan related to late claim requests, please email OTORequest@cde.ca.gov.

Civil Rights

Complaints may be submitted to the NSD by contacting the Civil Rights and Complaints Coordinator by phone at 800-952-5609 or by email at CNPComplaints@cde.ca.gov.

Competitive Foods

For questions related to the California competitive food and beverage requirements, contact the Competitive Foods and Beverages Team by email at CompetitiveFoods@cde.ca.gov.

Customer Service

We encourage you to share your experience with us or tell us more ways we can help by taking a few minutes to complete the NSD Customer Service Survey.

Disaster Reimbursement Claims

If you have any questions regarding the disaster reimbursement claims, contact the NSD at NSDDisasterClaims@cde.ca.gov.

Food Distribution Program

If you have any questions regarding the Food Distribution Program by email at FoodDistribution@cde.ca.gov.

FFVP Team

If you have any general questions regarding the FFVP, contact the FFVP Team at FFVP@cde.ca.gov.

Nutrition Education Expenditure

For questions related to assessing allowability of costs associated with nutrition education activities, submit your questions by email to NutrExpenditure@cde.ca.gov.

Professional Standards

For questions related to the education requirements for CNP personnel, submit your questions to the HHFKA by email at ProfessionalStandards@cde.ca.gov.

Procurement Resources

For questions related to procurement and procurement resources, email NSDProcurementReview@cde.ca.gov. For questions related to Food Service Management Contract reviews, email SFSContracts@cde.ca.gov.

School Nutrition Program (SNP)

For questions regarding the SNP, contact your SNP Analyst on the CDE SNP Specialist Directory web page.

SNP Cafeteria Fund Guidance

For questions about SNP cafeteria funds, contact the SNP Cafeteria Fund Team by email at SNPCafeFundQuestions@cde.ca.gov.

Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) Team

For questions regarding the SFSP, you can contact the SFSP team by email at SFSP@cde.ca.gov.

School Food Service

For questions regarding Food Service Management Contracts (FSMC) email SFSContracts@cde.ca.gov.

SNP

For general SNP related questions, please contact the SNPINFO@cde.ca.gov.

Universal Meals Program

For questions related to the UMP, email the UMP team at UniversalMealsSY22@cde.ca.gov.

USDA Foods Team

For more information about USDA Foods, contact the Food Distribution Unit by email at FoodDistribution@cde.ca.gov.

 

Questions:   Education and Nutrition Policy Unit | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, November 01, 2022
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