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Appeal Process: School Nutrition Programs


What actions can School Nutrition Programs (SNP) Operators appeal?

Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations (7 CFR), Section 210.18(p), defines the SNP appeal process. This web page provides examples as well as the regulatory language that defines each appealable action.

If your agency receives a written notice of action from the California Department of Education (CDE) that states that your agency may appeal the action(s) being taken, follow the procedures on the CDE Appeal Process for Child Nutrition Programs web page to request an appeal.

Denial of All or Part of a Claim for Reimbursement or Withholding Payment Arising from Administrative Review Activity Conducted by the State Agency

Reasons include: Claims are not supported by required records, meals served by the program operator do not meet meal pattern requirements for the SNP, required corrective action is not submitted.

7 CFR, Section 210.18(p): "School food authority appeal of State agency findings. Except for FNS-conducted reviews authorized under §210.29(d)(2), each State agency shall establish an appeal procedure to be followed by a school food authority requesting a review of a denial of all or a part of a Claim for Reimbursement or withholding payment arising from administrative review activity conducted by the State agency under §210.18."

7 CFR, Section 210.18(k): Withholding Payment. At a minimum, the State agency must withhold all program payments to a school food authority as follows:

(1) Cause for Withholding. (i) The State agency must withhold all Program payments to a school food authority if documented corrective action for critical area violations is not provided with the deadlines specified in paragraph (j)(2) of this section.

(ii) The State agency may withhold Program payments to a school food authority at its discretion, if the State agency found a critical area violation on a previous review and the school food authority continues to have the same error for the same cause; and

(iv) For general area violations, the State agency may withhold Program payments to a school food authority at its discretion, if the State agency finds that documented corrective action is not provided within the deadlines specified in paragraph (j)(2) of this section, corrective action is not complete, or corrective action was not taken as specified in the documented corrective action

(2) Duration of Withholding. In all cases, Program payments must be withheld until such time as corrective action is completed, documented corrective action is received and deemed acceptable by the State agency, or the State agency completes a follow-up review and confirms that the problem has been corrected. Subsequent to the State agency's acceptance of the corrective actions, payments will be released for all meals served in accordance with the provisions of this part during the period the payments were withheld. In very serious cases, the State agency will evaluate whether the degree of non-compliance warrants termination in accordance with §210.25.

7 CFR, Section 210.18(l): "Fiscal Action. The State agency must take fiscal action for all Performance Standard 1 violations and specific Performance Standard 2 violations identified during an administrative review as specified in this section. Fiscal action must be taken in accordance with the principles of §210.19(c) and the procedures established in the FNS Administrative Review Manual. The State agency must follow the fiscal action formula prescribed by FNS to calculate the correct entitlement for a school food authority or a school. While there is no fiscal action required for general area violations, the State agency has the ability to withhold funds for repeat or egregious violations occurring in the majority of the general areas as described in paragraph (k)(1)(iv)."

7 CFR, Section 210.10(a): "General Requirements. Schools must offer nutritious, well-balanced, and age-appropriate meals to all the children they serve to improve their diets and safeguard their health."

Please refer to 7 CFR, Section 210.10(a), for more information regarding SNP meal pattern requirements.

Questions:   John Ingram-Stone | jingramstone@cde.ca.gov | 916-324-0885
Last Reviewed: Monday, April 26, 2021
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