California adopts FREE school meals for All K-12 students

Applicable to all California public school students

Sacramento, Calif. – Permanent free school meals for all kindergarten to high school students after Congress and Governor agree on an operating budget for 2021-22 to reduce child hunger and provide essential support. It is the first state in Japan to be adopted. Strengthen school nutrition workers, and the state’s agricultural sector, according to a coalition of more than 200 organizations representing health, education, labor, agriculture, and food banks.

“California became the first state to offer universal school meals with the adoption of the state budget on Monday,” said Nancy Skinner, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. ..Free school meals for all 2021 laws.. “SB364, Free School Meals for All, is particularly proud to launch this groundbreaking initiative, from hunger eradication groups, schools, workers, public health and environmental groups to ranchers and farmers. We would like to thank the Union of Broad Support and thank Governor Newsam and the State Council for their support of the cause. It is based on a simple and strong premise: Universal. School, universal meal. “

On Monday, the Legislature approved SB 129 and established provisions related to school meals for all. Increased state meal repayments by $ 54 million in fiscal year 2021-22 to cover the cost of providing breakfast and lunch to all students, $ 650 million from 2022-23 Proposal 98 funding We will start the Universal School Meal Program, which will continue to provide. “

“California is once again leading the way by becoming the first state in the country to offer universal school meals to all K-12 students,” said Assemblywoman Luz Rivas (D-San Fernando Valley). I will. “In my school district, it’s not uncommon to see school districts where more than 85% of students have free or discounted lunches. That’s why I’ve been fighting for years to achieve this funding. Because children will never be hungry. Together with budget chairs Phil Ting and Nancy Skinner, I would like to thank the School Meals For All Union for their constant efforts to maintain full funding for this budget allocation. Our efforts to feed all the students in California have finally come to fruition. “

Full implementation of a universal free meal is especially important for families who have fallen into a crack in the current system: submitting the required documents can affect their immigration status. Eligible families of concern, families of four who earn more than $ 48,470 a year and are still hungry, and students who do not participate due to stigma that may be associated with eligible free school meals.

“If you’re a kid in the classroom and you’re hungry, you can’t learn,” said Kevin McCarty, chairman of the Parliamentary Budget Subcommittee on Education Finance. Education system. “It’s the key to their success, so it’s very important to ensure that they have a balanced diet.”

“California made history”

“California has made history,” said Kat Taylor, co-founder of the Tom Kat Ranch Educational Foundation and co-sponsor of the School Meals for All. “As the first state in the United States to adopt universal school meals, California has made children healthy and successful thanks to the leadership of the Legislature, especially Senator Nancy Skinner and Governor Gavin Newsom. Giving better shots to get ready and grow. Kevin McCarty and Ruslives. Now is the time to roll up our sleeves, school managers, school lunch workers, and farmers all. It’s time to make sure you have what you need to provide your students with free, healthy, locally produced school meals. “

Students studying in the classroom

The USDA exemption, which allowed schools to provide free meals to all students during the pandemic, expired at the end of the 2021-22 school year, at which point California’s public schools were universal. Refunds will be made to provide school meals. Nearly 60% of all students in the state (more than 3.6 million California students) qualify for free or discounted meals in the 2019-20 academic year. All California public school students are now eligible for free school meals.

“This groundbreaking investment in providing universal, free school meals demonstrates California’s leadership in enhancing the role that school meals play in the outcomes of children’s health and education,” Ecoliteracy said. Adam Kesselman, the center’s secretary-general, said. “School meals for everyone ensure that all students are nourished and ready to learn. Coupled with their investment in Farmto School innovation in California, fresh, locally produced school meals. We are seeing the future of our school. We are committed to helping schools transform this bold vision into the reality of all our students. “

The need for free meals is evident in the number of families receiving food at schools and food banks. From March to December 2020, California’s public schools provided over 450 million free school meals, providing families with essential resources during the pandemic-related school closures. In April 2020 alone, California’s food banks distributed food to more than 1.5 million households (approximately 4.5 million people), feeding 62% of the total number of individuals served in 2019 overall. Currently, nearly 20% of all California households, 27.3% of households with Latin children and 35.5% of households with black children report food insecurity. That’s twice as much as it was before the pandemic, affecting about 8 million Californians.

“This is a moment of change in California’s march towards a starvation-free future for our children. Thanks to Governor Newsom and Senator Skinner for their extraordinary leadership, they are leading the country in California. We are proud to confront a wide range of multi-sectoral coalitions. Hungry children are unable to learn, promote learning, grow into healthy adults, and provide the nutrition they need to reach their full potential. We need to, “said Andrew Chain, director of government affairs at the California Food and Banking Association. “Now we are calling on Congressmen, President Biden and Vice President Harris to establish healthy school meals for all children throughout the county. True to the future of children and our country. To invest in. “

The healthiest source of food for American children

School meals are the healthiest source of food for American children, Learn from Tufts University, And a set of evidence shows that students attending the school’s breakfast program improved attendance, behavior, academic performance, and reduced late arrivals.

“Legacy that creates progressive change”

“California continues its legacy of making progressive changes with this historic budget investment in healthy school meals,” said Tiffany Germain, research and policy adviser to NextGen California. “NextGen California is excited that our state is approaching a major step towards preventing students from becoming hungry, especially the dramatic increase in food insecurity due to the ongoing pandemic. By providing all students with healthy, freshly prepared, free school meals, fairness is ensured and “lunch shame” practices that can lead to bullying and students skipping lunch altogether. You can finish it. “

The budget arrangement was directly influenced by SB 364 (Skinner): Free Lunch Act for All Acts 2021. This is a two-year bill that will support the school’s nutrition department with the resources needed to implement state budgetary provisions. SB 364 is co-sponsored by Kat Taylor, TomKat Ranch Educational Foundation, Center for Ecoliteracy, NextGen California, California Association of Food Banks, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond.

“California has shown national leadership in providing free school meals to everyone, so that all children in California (12% of children across the country) learn and prosper at school. We ensure that we get the nutrition we need, “says Luis Guardia, president of Food Research. & Action Center. “School breakfast and lunch are just as important to students’ academic success as textbooks and transportation. We call on Congress to do the same for all children in all states.”

What people are saying

American Heart Association We commend the Governor and the Legislature for leading the country in their commitment to funding universal school meals. We have seen the possible adverse effects of malnutrition in childhood and adolescence on the body. A nutritious school meal lays the foundation for lifelong healthy behavior, reduces the risk of chronic illness, and supports cognitive development and academic success. Funding universal school meals sends a clear message that California puts children’s health and well-being first. “
Jamie Morgan, American Heart Association, Government Regional Leader

“Investing in school nutrition is investing in the future of agriculture. California produces the healthiest, freshest and highest quality products in the world. Our school age children are in California. You should benefit from the grace you grew up with. “
Taylor Roschen, Policy Advocate, California Agricultural Administration Federation

“California, which advances School Meals For All, is a major victory for nutritional safety and health equity. This important step prepares for a national shift to increase access to real food.”
Eat REAL, CEO, Nora La Torre

“The decision to provide free school meals to all California’s kindergarten to high school students is a clear indicator of the state’s dedication to ending child hunger. Common Sense is a clear indicator of youth happiness and growth. We are proud to work with this effort to support you. “
Marvin J. Deon II, Vice President – ​​CA Policy, Common Sense

“We are excited to see California lead in recognizing the essential role of school meals as we get out of the pandemic. Free and healthy school meals for all children. Supports families, farmers, and school lunch professionals who work daily to ensure that their children have the food they need to thrive. “
FoodCorps, Co-Founder and CEO, Curt Ellis

“Some students came to school breakfast on Monday morning and said they didn’t eat because it wasn’t their turn on the weekends. It’s a pain. It reduces child hunger, eliminates prejudice, and all students We commend California’s decision to fund the School Meals for All, ensuring they are ready to learn. “
Stephanie Bruce, Director of Nutrition Services, Unified School District, Palm Springs

“School meals for everyone are more than free breakfast and lunch. California deserves all the tools we need to meet you, prioritize you, and succeed at school. I’m telling the students that. “
Mark Chavez, Director of Nutrition Services, Unified School District, Long Beach

“I’ve seen how stigma keeps students from eating school meals, even if the alternative is hungry. School meals for everyone just eliminates school meal debt. Not the coveted relief for struggling families experiencing daily stress and stigma about feeding their children. California’s leadership in feeding all hungry children , Should be the rest of the model in our country. “
Unified School District of Fontana, Food Service Director, Trieste Huey

“Oakland Unified’s success in providing free school meals has proven its benefits of being available to all California students. Reliable nutrition, unbiasedness, and focus on education. What we can do is a victory for our school, our family, and our students. “
Kyla Johnson-Trammell, Mayor of the United Oakland School District

“Families who earn the minimum wage in San Francisco during the regular school year are not eligible for free or discounted school meals. Federal guidelines do not consider California’s high living costs. 20 years of school meals. As a director, I’m excited to see California lead with a universal diet, and look forward to the positive impact of free school meals for everyone on our students. I am doing it. “
Jennifer LeBarre, Executive Director of Student Nutrition Services, San Francisco Unified School District

“School Meals For All is a big win for families in California. This gives every child access to food at school. It’s an essential learning tool. With this funding, families, especially San Diego Unified The burden on single parents and spouses of enlisted service members is reduced. “
Gary Petil, Director of Nutrition Services, Unified School District, San Diego

California adopts FREE school meals for All K-12 students Source link California adopts FREE school meals for All K-12 students

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