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Woodlake Unified School District |  BP  3551  Business and Noninstructional Operations

Food Service Operations/Cafeteria Fund   

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The Governing Board intends that school food services shall be a self-supporting, nonprofit program. To ensure program quality and increase cost effectiveness, the Superintendent or designee shall centralize and direct the purchasing of foods and supplies, the planning of menus, and the auditing of all food service accounts for the district.

(cf. 3100 - Budget)

(cf. 3300 - Expenditures and Purchases)

(cf. 3311 - Bids)

(cf. 3550 - Food Service/Child Nutrition Program)

(cf. 3552 - Summer Meal Program)

(cf. 5030 - Student Wellness)

The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that food service director(s) possess the qualifications required by 7 CFR 210.30 and California Department of Education (CDE) standards.

(cf. 4231 - Staff Development)

(cf. 4331 - Staff Development)

At least once each year, food service administrators, other appropriate personnel who conduct or oversee administrative procedures, and other food service personnel shall receive training provided by CDE. (42 USC 1776)

Meal Sales

Meals may be sold to students, district employees, Board members, and employees or members of the fund or association maintaining the cafeteria. (Education Code 38082)

In addition, meals may be sold to nonstudents, including parents/guardians, volunteers, students' siblings, or other individuals, who are on campus for a legitimate purpose. Any meals served to nonstudents shall not be subsidized by federal or state reimbursements, food service revenues, or U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) foods.

Meal prices, as recommended by the Superintendent or designee and approved by the Board, shall be based on the costs of providing food services and consistent with Education Code 38084 and 42 USC 1760. Students who are enrolled in the free or reduced-price meal program shall receive meals free of charge or at a reduced price in accordance with law, Board policy, and administrative regulation.

(cf. 3553 - Free and Reduced Price Meals)

The Superintendent or designee shall establish strategies and procedures for the collection of meal payments, including delinquent meal payments. Such procedures shall conform with BP/AR 3553 - Free and Reduced Price Meals, 2 CFR 200.426, and any applicable CDE guidance. The Superintendent or designee shall clearly communicate these procedures to students and parents/guardians, and shall make this policy and the accompanying administrative regulation available to the public pursuant to Education Code 49557.5.

The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that a student whose parent/guardian has unpaid school meal fees or a student who is enrolled in the free or reduced-price meal program is not overtly identified by the use of special tokens, tickets, or other means and is not shamed, treated differently, or denied a meal of the student's choice. (Education Code 49557, 49557.5)

(cf. 0410 - Nondiscrimination in District Programs and Activities)

(cf. 0415 - Equity)

Cafeteria Fund

The Superintendent or designee shall establish a cafeteria fund independent of the district's general fund.

The wages, salaries, and benefits of food service employees shall be paid from the cafeteria fund. (Education Code 38103)

The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that state and federal funds provided through school meal programs are allocated only for purposes related to the operation or improvement of food services and reasonable and necessary indirect program costs as allowed by law.

(cf. 3230 - Federal Grant Funds)

(cf. 3400 - Management of District Assets/Accounts)

(cf. 3460 - Financial Reports and Accountability)

Contracts with Outside Services

With Board approval, the district may enter into a contract for food service consulting services or management services in one or more district schools. (Education Code 45103.5; 42 USC 1758; 7 CFR 210.16)

(cf. 3312 - Contracts)

(cf. 3600 - Consultants)

Procurement of Foods, Equipment and Supplies

To the maximum extent practicable, foods purchased for use in school meals by the district or by any entity purchasing food on its behalf shall be domestic commodities or products. Domestic commodity or product means an agricultural commodity that is produced in the United States and a food product that is processed in the United States substantially using agricultural commodities that are produced in the United States. (42 USC 1760; 7 CFR 210.21)

A nondomestic food product may be purchased for use in the district's food service program only as a last resort when the product is not produced or manufactured in the United States in sufficient and reasonably available quantities of a satisfactory quality, or when competitive bids reveal the costs of a United States product are significantly higher than the nondomestic product. In such cases, the Superintendent or designee shall retain documentation justifying the use of the exception.

Furthermore, the district shall accept a bid or price for an agricultural product grown in California before accepting a bid or price for an agricultural product grown outside the state, if the quality of the California-grown product is comparable and the bid or price does not exceed the lowest bid or price of a product produced outside the state. (Food and Agriculture Code 58595)

Bid solicitations and awards for purchases of equipment, materials, or supplies in support of the district's child nutrition program, or for contracts awarded pursuant to Public Contract Code 2000, shall be consistent with the federal procurement standards in 2 CFR 200.318-200.326. Awards shall be let to the most responsive and responsible party. Price shall be the primary consideration, but not the only determining factor, in making such an award. (Public Contract Code 20111)

Program Monitoring and Evaluation

The Superintendent or designee shall present to the Board, at least annually, financial reports regarding revenues and expenditures related to the food service program.

The Superintendent or designee shall provide all necessary documentation required for the Administrative Review conducted by CDE to ensure compliance of the district's food service program with federal requirements.

(cf. 3555 - Nutrition Program Compliance)

Legal Reference:


38080-38086.1 Cafeteria, establishment and use

38090-38095 Cafeterias, funds and accounts

38100-38103 Cafeterias, allocation of charges

42646 Alternate payroll procedure

45103.5 Contracts for management consulting services; restrictions

49490-49493 School breakfast and lunch programs

49500-49505 School meals

49550-49564.5 Meals for needy students, especially:

49550.5 Universal breakfast

49554 Contract for services

49580-49581 Food recovery program


58595 Preference for California-grown agricultural products


113700-114437 California Retail Food Code


2000-2002 Responsive bidders

20111 Contracts


15550-15565 School lunch and breakfast programs


1751-1769j School lunch programs

1771-1793 Child nutrition, including:

1773 School breakfast program


200.56 Indirect costs, definition

200.317-200.326 Procurement standards

200.400-200.475 Cost principles

200 Appendix VII Indirect cost proposals


210.1-210.33 National School Lunch Program

220.1-220.22 National School Breakfast Program

245.8 Nondiscrimination practices for students eligible for free and reduced price meals and free milk

250.1-250.70 USDA foods

Management Resources:


California School Accounting Manual

Food Distribution Program Administrative Manual

Paid Lunch Equity Requirement and Calculation Tool-Updated Guidance for School Year 2019-20, NSD Management Bulletin, SNP-11-2019, May 2019

Professional Standards in the SNP and New Hiring Flexibility, NSD Management Bulletin, SNP-10-2019, April 2019

Senate Bill 250: Child Hunger Prevention and Fair Treatment Act of 2017 and USDA Meal Charge Policy Requirements, NSD Management Bulletin, SNP-05-2018, January 2018

Storage and Inventory Management of U.S. Department of Agriculture Foods, NSD Management Bulletin, FDP-01-2018, January 2018

Unpaid Meal Charges: Local Meal Charge Policies, Clarification on Collection of Delinquent Meal Payments, and Excess Student Account Balances, NSD Management Bulletin, SNP-03-2017, April 2017

Procuring and Monitoring of Food Service Management Contracts, NSD Management Bulletin, SNP-13-2015, January 2015

Cafeteria Funds--Allowable Uses, NSD Management Bulletin, NSD-SNP-07-2013, May 2013

Adult and Sibling Meals in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, NSD Management Bulletin, 00-111, July 2000


School Meals - FAQs

Compliance with and Enforcement of the Buy American Provision in the National School Lunch Program, SP 38-2017, June 2017

Overcoming the Unpaid Meal Challenge: Proven Strategies from Our Nation's Schools, SP 29-2017, May 2017

Unpaid Meal Charges: Guidance and Q&A, SP 23-2017, March 2017

Indirect Costs: Guidance for State Agencies and School Food Authorities SP 60-2016, September 2016

Unpaid Meal Charges: Local Meal Charge Policies, SP 46-2016, July 2016

Discretionary Elimination of Reduced Price Charges in the School Meal Programs, SP 17-2014, January 2014


California Department of Education, Nutrition Services Division:

California School Nutrition Association:

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service:


adopted: May 13, 2020 Woodlake, California