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Clarifying Meal Service Guidance


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The California Department of Education (CDE) Nutrition Services Division (NSD) would like to clarify questions between program operations during the summer months and program operations when schools re-open to provide instructional activities.

Summer Meal Service

Providing meals during the summer when school in not in session, operates under either the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) or the Summer Feeding Service Program (SFSP). Meals are provided at area eligible open sites with the following waivers: non-congregate, feeding, meal service time flexibility, parent/guardian meal pick-up through August 31, 2020 and meal pattern flexibility through July 31, 2020. In the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS), meals are claimed under SSO or SFSP application.

School Meal Service

Providing meals when school is in-session (providing instruction to students), either on campus or through distance learning, operates under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP). The following waivers in effect are non-congregate feeding, meal service time flexibility, parent/guardian meal pick-up, offer verses serve for senior high, and meal pattern flexibility through June 30, 2021. In the CNIPS, meals are claimed under NSLP and SBP. If you are not on a provision, then you must submit a claim by eligibility. Keep in mind that you will need to complete free and reduced-price meal applications if you are not on a provision. If your district implements a blended learning model where some students are on-campus and others participate in distance learning you would still claim meals under NSLP and SBP. Program operators must update meal counting and collection procedures to reflect the points of service and services models where meals are being served.

Contact Information

For any questions regarding these waivers, please contact your respective program’s County Specialist. The County Specialist for each program can be found in the following Form IDs in the CNIPS Download Forms section:

  • SFSP—Form ID SFSP 01.
  • NSLP, SBP, and SSO—Form ID Caseload.
  • Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)—Form ID CACFP 01.
Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Monday, June 29, 2020
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