Students can’t learn when they are hungry – yet nearly 2 million California children are food insecure and at-risk for hunger. Skipping meals and tight food budgets are all part of the unbearable cost of living for families across California. School meals can help students get the food they need to learn and grow, while also offering a major support to families struggling to make ends meet. California has seen improvements in access to school meals, but two major barriers persist – stigma and quality of food.
With SB xx (McGuire), the California State Legislature can create and sustain equitable, healthy, hunger-free schools through an extra 10¢ per breakfast reimbursement for school districts to purchase California-grown fresh fruits and vegetables. To earn this incentive, schools districts must, at a minimum, serve breakfast universally free in all schools, and serve breakfast and lunch universally free at very high poverty schools.