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Food Insecurity

Fighting to ensure every Californian has increased and equitable access to healthy food by focusing on the issues of food deserts, student hunger, supporting local sustainable agriculture and freshly prepared climate-friendly school meals.

Despite producing nearly half of the nation's fruits and vegetables, one in five Californians struggles with hunger and lack access to nutritious foods - an alarming 20 percent of our population. All people, regardless of income or immigration status, should have equitable access to the resources they need to live healthy, productive lives.

Tiffany Germain, Research & Policy Advisor

A Big Win for 'School Meals for All'!

In 2021, NextGen was an original cosponsor and part of the School Meals for All network that helped secure funding to cover the complete cost of offering free breakfast and lunch for all K-12 students, which made California the first state in the nation to do so. Building on that success, NextGen continued to play a key role in advocating for ongoing funding and helped secure unprecedented investments in the future of our state’s school food system, totaling more than $2 billion in related programming.

$2 Billion A total of more than $2 billion was allocated in the California Budget to support our state’s school food system. The numbers below identify how some of this money will be used to address food insecurity in our school systems.

$600 Million for school kitchen equipment and upgrades to kitchen infrastructure.

$596 Million to implement School Meals for All, providing free breakfast and lunch to all K-12 students.

$100 Million – to supply California-grown, minimally processed, sustainably grown foods for school meals.

$60 Million to expand the California Farm to School grant program.

$45 Million to launch The California Healthy School Meals Pathway Program, a new, first-of-its-kind program to develop a school food labor force.


Current Work and Partner work in the Food Insecurity Space

SB 907 Win! The Local Equitable Access to Food (LEAF) program was signed by the Governor, improving access to healthy foods for all California families, regardless of income, by increasing EBT access at local farmers’ markets, as well as increasing the number of farmers’ markets throughout California.

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School Meals for All Win! In 2022 NextGen was instrumental in building on the success of School Meals for All, we continued to play a key role in advocating for ongoing funding and helped secure unprecedented investments in the future of our state’s school food system, totaling more than $2 billion in related programming.

Our Food Insecurity Partnerships

NextGen has partnered with Alchemist CDC, a mission-driven organization that connects Sacramento area communities to land, food, and opportunity toward a vision in which all neighborhoods are vibrant, equitable, healthy, and diverse. We are encouraged by the work they do and pleased to be partners with them in the food insecurity space.

Advocacy Work

Senate Bill 907
Local Equitable Access to Food (LEAF)
Improves access to healthy foods for all California families, regardless of income, as well as increases the number of farmers’ markets throughout California.
SB 364
School Food: End Child Hunger Act (Skinner)
Establishes the Better Out of School Time (BOOST) Nutrition EBT Program to prevent child hunger during regularly scheduled school breaks or emergency school closures.

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