Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

SNP Guidance, Manuals, and Resources

The most recent guidance manuals, management bulletins, and other materials needed for proper administration of the School Nutrition Programs (SNP).

Guidance | Manuals | Resources


Administrative Review
Includes information, regulations, procedures, and updates on the School Nutrition Programs administrative review.

Cafeteria Fund Guidance
Provides School Food Authorities (SFA) with information and instructions pertaining to federal and State statutes and regulations that govern school cafeteria funds.

Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Agriculture Food & Nutrition Service (FNS) policies and procedures about nondiscrimination in the administration of the child nutrition and food distribution programs.

Confidentiality-School Nutrition Programs
Provides information regarding the confidentiality restrictions and allowances available to school food authorities that apply to the disclosure of information on an free and reduced-price (F/RP) eligibility application pursuant to state and federal laws.

Direct Certification
A federally mandated process that sponsors must use to certify school-age recipients of CalFresh and CalWORKs benefits as eligible for free school meals without further application.

Disaster Guidance for Child Nutrition Programs (CNP)
Includes claiming and reimbursement information, policy guidance, resources, and contacts for all disasters that affect the CNP.

Earned Income Tax Credit Information Act
Local education agencies (LEAs) participating in the National School Lunch program are required to notify households in their school district on the availability of the federal and the California Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

Ensuring Adequate Time to Eat
Resources and information to help local educational agencies (LEA) ensure that students have adequate seated time to eat their meal after being served.

Forms and completed sample forms for use by School Nutrition Programs (SNP) sponsors.

General Information Sheets
Information to assist sponsors with program administration.

Management Bulletins
SNP management bulletins organized by calendar year.

Nutrition Requirements
Information and resources on menu planning, preparation documentation, and meal patterns for sponsors participating in the in the SNP.

Payment Information and Forms
Fiscal information to aid nutrition sponsors and to provide information about claiming meal reimbursements.

Plate Waste Prevention
Information on plate waste including strategies, best practices, and resources for sponsors participating in Child Nutrition Programs (CNP).

School Nutrition Programs Provisions 1, 2, and 3, and the Community Eligibility Provision are alternative ways for local educational agencies to claim student meals.

School Breakfast Program and Summer Food Service Program Start-up and Expansion Grants
The School Breakfast Program (SBP) and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) Start-up and Expansion Grants, administered by the California Department of Education, provide schools with funding to start-up or expand their SBP and SFSP.

School Menu Planning Options
Information and resources on the new Food-Based Menu Planning approach for the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast program.

School Nutrition Programs Application Process
Provides information on the requirements for applying for the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs.

School Nutrition Programs Eligibility
Each school year, local educational agencies (LEA) must determine and certify a student’s eligibility to qualify for F/RP meals or free milk benefits.

Verification Materials
School Nutrition Programs verification materials including applications, forms, and materials for the annual, mandatory verification process for eligibility of a sample of completed household meal eligibility applications.

Back to Top


USDA Manuals
  • Eligibility Manual for School Meals External link opens in new window or tab.
    Guidance from the USDA for determining children's eligibility for free and reduced-price meals.
    Note: Management Bulletin with additional information specific to California pending.
  • Food Buying Guide External link opens in new window or tab.
    USDA's guide to plan, purchase, prepare, and serve nourishing meals for the Child Nutrition Programs. For a hard copy, call the Nutrition Services Division toll free at 800-952-5609.
  • Provision 2 Guidance Manual External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
    USDA's guidance for schools participating in the Provision 2 alternative for collecting and certifying free and reduced-price eligibility under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP).

Resources and Reports

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR) External link opens in new window or tab.
The e-CFR is a currently updated version of the Code of Federal Regulations. Federal regulations pertaining to School Nutrition Programs are Title 7, Part 210, National School Lunch Program; Part 215, Special Milk Program for Children; Part 220, School Breakfast Program; and Part 245, Determining Eligibility for Free and Reduced Price Meals and Free Milk in Schools.

No Child Left Behind
California's Home page for the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB).

School Nutrition Program (SNP) Primer External link opens in new window or tab.
A Web-based resource to provide designed resources, information, and technical assistance related to the administration and operation of the SNP.

WestEd Breakfast Study External link opens in new window or tab.
The Legislature required the California Department of Education (CDE) to contract for a study to evaluate the cost and feasibility of mandating that all severe need schools in California offer the School Breakfast Program (SBP). The Feasibility of Mandating School Breakfast in California's Severe Need Schools: Costs, Challenges, and Recommendations is a final report of that study, following interviews with 44 school districts (60 schools) that did not offer the SBP and interviews with seven school districts (7 schools) that recently adopted the SBP. Results also used CDE data obtained from 6,523 severe need schools in California about their SBP status.

USDA Resources
  • Child Nutrition Programs External link opens in new window or tab.
    The USDA Web page for information about the administration of school nutrition programs.

  • Healthy Meals Resource System External link opens in new window or tab.
    The USDA online information center that provides recipes, resources, and information on food safety and the preparation of nutritious meals.

  • School Breakfast Program Expansion External link opens in new window or tab.
    The USDA online resource to help promote and expand School Breakfast Programs as a way of supporting positive health and educational outcomes for children.
Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, January 12, 2022
Related Content
Recently Posted in Nutrition