Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Meal Programs - CalEdFacts

This content is part of California Department of Education's information and media guide about education in the State of California. For similar information on other topics, visit the full CalEdFacts.

On an average day in California, over 7 million nutritious meals are served at nearly 34,000 locations. These meals are funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, the Summer Food Service Program, and the Child and Adult Care Food Program. The California Department of Education (CDE) disburses over $2.6 billion in federal and state funds to support schools, child care centers, family day care homes, adult care centers, park and recreation centers, and other eligible agencies in providing nutritious meals and snacks. In 2019–20, the CDE distributed $193 million in USDA Foods to eligible public and private nonprofit agencies throughout the state for use in preparing meals.

The CDE also administers the USDA’s:

  • Special Milk Program, which assists schools, summer camps, and eligible agencies in providing over 763 thousand half-pint servings of milk annually to children.
Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Thursday, April 29, 2021
Related Content
  • 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.
  • Child and Adult Care Food Program
    This web page includes background information, steps on how to apply, the Administrative Manual, meal pattern requirements, claiming information, policy guidance, compliance, trainings, resources, and contacts for program operators.
  • Food Programs
    Child nutrition programs data and statistics, including county profiles, free and reduced price data, school meal nutrition analysis, and summer meal service sites.
  • School Nutrition
    Meal and milk programs offered at public and private non-profit schools and residential child care institutions.
  • Summer Meal Programs
    Federal meal programs for children from low-income areas during vacation and off-track periods.
Recently Posted in Nutrition