AB 1781

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.

CFPA Primary Contact

Markell Lewis
Nutrition Policy Advocate
Oakland Office
510.433.1122 x107

School Nutrition Resources

For more on School Lunch, visit
CFPA's School Lunch page.

For more on School Breakfast, visit CFPA's School Breakfast page.

Boost School Meal Participation: Lining Up to Remove Stigma


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.

AB 1781 Updates & News

AB 1781 Supporting Documents

Useful Background Materials

Page last updated 3.13.2012