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Federal Approval of Major Disaster Declaration


On October 16, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the President has approved California’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration to bolster the state’s emergency response to wildfires across the state and support impacted residents in Fresno, Los Angeles, Madera, Mendocino, San Bernardino, San Diego and Siskiyou counties.

California previously secured a Presidential Major Disaster Declaration to bolster the state’s emergency response to the Northern California wildfires as well as Fire Management Assistance Grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to support the state’s ongoing response to fires burning across the state. Governor Newsom has declared a statewide emergency due to the widespread fires and extreme weather conditions and signed an executive order to streamline recovery efforts in communities impacted by the devastating fires.

A Presidential Major Disaster Declaration helps people in the impacted counties through eligibility for support including crisis counseling, housing and unemployment assistance, and legal services. It also provides federal assistance to help state, tribal, and local governments fund emergency response, recovery and protective measures.

Guidelines on Disaster Relief

For information on Governor Newsom’s emergency proclamation, please refer to the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom’s Newsroom web page External link opens in new window or tab.

For information on the California Department of Education (CDE) Resources for California Wildfires, please refer to the CDE Resources for California Wildfires web page.

For information on the CDE Disaster Relief Guidelines, please refer to the CDE Disaster Relief Guidelines web page.

For information on disaster assistance and resources in California, please refer to the CDE Disaster Resources web page.

For information on emergency resources from federal, state, and local agencies, please refer to the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) website External link opens in new window or tab..

Use of U.S. Department of Agriculture Foods during a State and Federally Declared Disaster

Disaster relief organizations may designate schools as community feeding sites or request that schools provide their U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foods to other feeding sites. USDA Foods can be released on request to recognized disaster relief organizations such as the American Red Cross or the OES. Information regarding USDA Foods usage, reporting, and claiming procedures during a disaster can be found in Management Bulletin 02-401 on the CDE Use of USDA Foods in Disaster Feeding web page.

The Disaster Feeding Guidance for School Food Service using USDA Foods can be downloaded from the CDE Food Distribution Guidance, Manuals, and Resources web page.

Reimbursement Claims Submission Flexibility

The USDA can authorize the CDE to allow school food authorities, institutions, and sponsors to submit claims beyond the 60-day submission requirement. Claims submitted after 60 days, as a result of a disaster, are not subject to the one-time exception for late submissions. For more information on late claim submission due to disasters, refer to the USDA Policy Memoranda SP 46-2014, CACFP 12-2014, SFSP 18-2014 web document External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF).

For assistance with submitting your claim, contact your Child Nutrition Fiscal Service Analyst on the Nutrition Services web page.

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding disaster relief, please contact the following programs:

School Nutrition Programs (SNP)

  • Katie Tully, Northern SNP Unit Manager, by phone at 916-322-3609 or by email at ktully@cde.ca.gov.

Summer Meal Programs

  • Jeannine Cook, Summer Meals Unit Manager, by phone at 916-322-2146 or by email at jcook@cde.ca.gov.

Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

  • Joseph Cormack, CACFP Unit Manager, by phone at 916-324-7133 or by email at jcormack@cde.ca.gov.

Food Distribution Program

  • Augie Aguilar, Food Administration Unit Manager, by phone at 916-445-4850 or by email at aaguilar@cde.ca.gov.
Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, October 21, 2020
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