Assembly Bill (AB) 558 School Meals
Breakfasts and Snacks for Nonschoolaged Children
Includes overview, background, and program specific guidance on providing meals to nonschoolaged children.
On September 30, 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill (AB) 558 School Meals: Child Nutrition Act of 2022 into law. The California Department of Education (CDE) and California Department of Social Services (CDSS) developed guidance for local educational agencies (LEAs) participating in the federal School Breakfast Program (SBP) that maintain kindergarten or any of grades one to six and are interested in serving eligible nonschoolaged children breakfast or a morning snack at a LEA school site.
This web page synthesizes the breadth of existing guidance provided to LEAs on both the allowability of offering meals, including a breakfast or a morning snack, to nonschoolaged children under federal Child Nutrition Programs (CNPs) and options available for those LEAs interested in doing so. Providing meals to nonschoolaged children is a voluntary practice.
California Education Code Section 49496 defines eligible nonschoolaged children as:
“A child who is not enrolled in school and who is a sibling, half sibling, or stepsibling of, or a foster child residing with, a pupil who meets the federal eligibility criteria for a free or reduced-price breakfast at a LEA participating in the federal SBP that maintains kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 6, inclusive.”
Within the scope of the CNPs, only the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) and the Summer Meal Programs (SMP) offer opportunities, when program requirements are met, to receive state and federal reimbursement for meals and snacks provided to nonschoolaged children.
Child and Adult Care Food Program
The CACFP is a CNP designed to provide nutritious meals and snacks served to infants, children, and adults. In California, the CDSS CACFP Branch administers the program.
For the purposes of the CACFP,
Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Section 226.2 defines children as:
- Persons age 12 and under
- Persons age 15 and under who are children of migrant workers
- Persons with disabilities as defined in 7 CFR, Section 226.2
- For emergency shelters, persons age 18 and under
- For at-risk afterschool care centers, persons age 18 and under at the start of the school year
Nonschoolaged children, as defined in California Education Code Section 49496, are eligible to receive meals through the CACFP when enrolled in a participating facility. As a result, meals and snacks served to qualifying nonschoolaged children as a part of CACFP are eligible for state and federal reimbursement.
To learn more about the CACFP, visit the CDSS CACFP web page.
School Nutrition Programs
The School Nutrition Programs (SNP) include the federal SBP and National School Lunch Program (NSLP). The purpose of the SNPs is to provide enrolled students with access to healthy, nutritious meals in a school environment.
Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations (7 CFR), Section 210.2 defines a child as, “a student of high school grade or under as determined by the State educational agency, who is enrolled in an educational unit of high school grade or under.”
Because the federal definition of a child references being a student, only children who are enrolled within an LEA are eligible for federal and state reimbursement for meals under the SNPs. While LEAs may provide meals to nonschoolaged children as defined in California Education Code section 49496, federal and state meal reimbursements may not be utilized to pay for the cost of these meals.
Additionally, providing meals to nonschoolaged children is not an allowable use of school cafeteria funds. For more information about the allowable uses of cafeteria funds, visit the CDE Management Bulletin SNP-05-2020 Cafeteria Funds – Allowable Uses web page.
To learn more about the SNPs visit the
CDE SBP web page and the CDE NSLP web page.
Summer Meal Programs
The Summer Meal Programs (SMP) include the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the Seamless Summer Feeding Option (SSO). The intent of these programs is to provide meals during out of school time to children in communities of need where at least 50 percent of enrolled children at a nearby school site have been determined eligible for free or reduced-price school meals. For more information about determining eligibility for the SMPs, visit the CDE MB CNP 04-2015 Area Eligibility in CNPs web page.
For the purposes of the SFSP, Title 7, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 225.2 defines children as, “persons of age 18 and under, and persons over 18 years of age who are determined by a State educational agency or a local public educational agency of a State to be mentally or physically handicapped and who participate in a public or nonprofit private school program established for the mentally or physically handicapped.” In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) extends this definition of children to the SSO, in the USDA policy memo SP 09-2017, 2017 Edition of Questions and Answers for the National School Lunch Program’s Seamless Summer Option.
Guidance regarding summer feeding options for school food authorities is addressed in the USDA policy memo SP 07-2014, SFSP 04-2013-REVISED, Summer Feeding Options for School Food Authorities.
For more information about the SMPs visit the CDE SFSP web page, and the CDE SSO web page.
LEAs may choose to use other sources of local funds outside of the federal CNPs to support meal service for nonschoolaged children, if desired. Examples include using general funds, special grants, or support from the Parent Teachers Association to provide meals and snacks to nonschoolaged children at an LEA site.
The use of a LEA’s cafeteria funds to provide meals for nonschoolaged children is not an allowable cost. For more information on allowable costs, please review the CDE Management Bulletin SNP-05-2020 Cafeteria Funds – Allowable Uses web page.
Note that providing meals to nonschoolaged children is voluntary.
For more information on the CACFP, visit the CDSS CACFP web page.
For more information on the SNP visit the CDE School Nutrition web page.
For more information on the SMP, visit the CDE SMP web page.
For questions related to the CACFP, please contact the assigned CACFP Program Specialist.
For questions related to the SNPs, please contact SNPinfo@cde.ca.gov.
For questions related to the Summer Meal Programs, please contact SFSP@cde.ca.gov.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
Esta institución es un proveedor que ofrece igualdad de oportunidades.