California Becomes First State To Offer Free School Meals To All Children
August 15, 2022
Beginning in school year, California will become the first state to implement a statewide Universal Meals Program for all school children.
California's Universal Meals Program (Universal Meals) is designed to build on the foundations of the federal National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP).
There are three key pillars that have been established to ensure that the program is a success:
1. California's State Meal Mandate is expanded to include both a nutritiously adequate breakfast and lunch for, not just needy children, but all children each school day.
2. High poverty schools will be required to participate in a federal provision.
3.The California State Legislature allocates funds to provide additional state meal reimbursement to cover the cost of the Universal Meals Program.
On average, 1 out of every 5 Californians does not know where their next meal will come from, ABC News reports. According to Feeding America, last year about 1 in 6 children in the U.S. experienced food insecurity.
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