The Free School Meals for All Act
Food insecurity means a lack of consistent access to enough food to live a healthy, active lifestyle. This can be a temporary situation resulting from a specific circumstance, or an issue that affects a household for an indefinite amount of time. Currently, 6.2 million households in California don’t have regular access to nutritious food. Black and Latino households experience food insecurity at a rate twice as high as white households. The federal government allowed free school meals for all to meet the urgent need caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but this program is set to expire at the end of the 2021-22 school year. We need to have permanent measures to ensure every child has the proper nutrition to support their development, behavior, and ability to learn.
By providing healthy food made with California-grown items, all K-12 children would receive the nutrients they need, even during school breaks and closures. This bill also supports our state’s farmers in the process by using fresh ingredients to prepare the meals. SB 364 aims to end “lunch shaming” — which can lead to bullying, shaming, and isolation — by providing food for all students, not just those who need it, based on their family’s income.
Stay up-to-date on SB 364.