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One Step Back, A Few Steps Forward for School Nutrition Programs

By Cathy Bui - September 12, 2008

This week, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell announced the launch of the Child Nutrition Information and Payment System (CNIPS).  CNIPS is a new Web-based system for local sponsors of federal food programs to more easily submit and track the status of their applications, claims, and commodity requests to the California Department of Education (CDE).

When this site is completely finished, local education agencies (LEAs) and local programs sponsors should expect to have the ability to manage state and federal nutrition programs such as the National School Lunch and Breakfast, Food Distribution, Special Milk, Child and Adult Care Food, and Summer Food Service programs online. 

O’Connell stated that LEAs can now submit applications online in real time, decreasing processing time, and eliminating delivery delays.

To view this resourceful website currently in its initial phase visit www.cnips.ca.gov.
The CDE claims the CNIPS will create a drastically more efficient method in processing nutrition programs for LEAs.  CNIPS is also being touted as the largest Web-based application and reimbursement system ever implemented by CDE.  

Ironically, CDE is making this announcement a week after informing LEAs that the Proposition 98 State Meal appropriation has been expended for the 2007/08 fiscal year.  This is problematic for LEAs, especially if they have not received funding for the June 2008 National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Program claims, because they will not be receiving those funds at all.

Editor's Note: Cathy Bui  is the Legislative Assistant for Governmental Solutions Group, LLC.  Pror to joining GSG, Ms. Bui worked in the office of Assembly Speaker Karen Bass.