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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, nearly 6 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 $2.7 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 2017–18, the CDE distributed over $179 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 1.3 million half-pint servings of milk annually to children.
  • Commodity Supplemental Food Program, which provides for low-income elderly people at least 60 years of age with USDA Foods designed to meet their nutritional needs, was last administered by CDE in 2015-16, and has since been administered by California Department of Social Services.
Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Thursday, May 9, 2019
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