CFPA proposes that during meal times, a reimbursable school meal must be available in any service line that school food services operates, manages or from which school food services receives revenue.
Nutrition Policy Advocate
For more on School Lunch, visit
CFPA's School Lunch page.
For more on School Breakfast, visit CFPA's School Breakfast page.
During mealtime at public schools in California, students face short lunch periods, crowded cafeterias and pressure to impress their peers. While public schools in California are required to make a free or reduced price nutritious meal available to qualifying students, there is no requirement that these meals be available in all food service lines. The practice of having lines that do not offer the reimbursable school meal and only offer à la carte items for purchase identifies students that must go elsewhere to receive their school meal. Consequently, many low-income students face painful stigma and try to avoid participating in the school meal programs, leading them to purchase less nutritious à la carte items, or even going without a meal to avoid the embarrassment of receiving a free meal.
Removing stigma in school cafeterias creates school environments in which all students are treated and viewed equally. Increased participation in the meal programs brings the nutrition, health and academic benefits of school meals to more students, while drawing additional federal funds (per-meal reimbursements) in to California. These funds can be used to purchase more nutritious and appealing foods, and to continually improve the school meal programs.
5.25.2012 AB 1781 (Brownley) Boost School Meal Participation: Lining Up to Remove Stigma was held in the Assembly Appropriations suspense file today. While the bill will not make further progress Read more here…
4.11.2012 AB 1781 (Brownley) Boost School Meal Participation: Lining Up to Remove Stigma passed the Assembly Education Committee today, April 11th. A big thanks to Maya Olais and Alejandro Rivera, two youth who testified in support of AB 1781, Read more here…
3.13.2012 Announced today, AB 1781 (Brownley) Boost School Meal Participation: Lining Up to Remove Stigma will be heard by the Assembly Education Committee on April 11th. Read more here…
Use this sample to write your own letter in support of AB 1781 doc
AB 1781 bill language as introduced by Assemblymember Brownley link
Fact Sheet from CFPA on the bill PDF
A CFPA prepared document answering frequently asked questions PDF
SB 12 (2005) Link
AB 965 (2005) Link
Campaign for Better Nutrition’s Brief on Overt Identification and Stigma PDF
Free Lunch Isn’t Cool, So Some Students Go Hungry – New York Times PDF
Page last updated 3.13.2012