Back to School: Feeding Success with School Meals  

Like books and pencils, food is an imperative tool for learning , but unequal access to school meals means some students in need miss out on the benefits of school nutrition. Meals served universally free can help prepare the over 6 million K-12 students enrolled in California's public schools for success, regardless of race, income, or housing status.

California students face many opportunity barriers. These barriers include racial and structural inequities that segregate students into high-poverty schools that widen disparities; economic hardship and poverty due to California's high cost of living; and housing insecurity and homelessness due to the state's persistent housing crisis.

Statewide policy can address systemic inequities by targeting supports for under-resourced communities and high-poverty schools. 
Last year California passed landmark legislation (SB 138, Senator McGuire), sponsored by CFPA, that ensures all students in California's highest poverty schools have access to a free breakfast and lunch each school day. As a result of SB 138, more than 4,200 California schools are now offering two universally free, nutritious meals to hundreds of thousands of students each school day.

What's Next?
We now look to extend these same values of educational and health equity to even more California students. We seek to ensure that all California families struggling to get by can find stability and stigma-free support for children at school. We urge policymakers, community leaders, organizational partners, and schools to join us in creating hunger free schools statewide.

Contact: Elyse Homel Vitale at 510.433.1122 x206.

Take immediate action!
Act now to tell Governor Brown that hunger shouldn't be a school choice. Did you know that unlike all other low-income public school students in California, low-income students in  public charter schools are not granted the right to nutritious, affordable school meals?

AB 1871 (Bonta), which is on the Governor's desk, would ensure that all low-income, public school students in California - including charter school students - have access to at least one nutritious, free or low-cost school meal each school day. 

Governor Brown has until the end of September to sign or veto bills. He can act on AB 1871 at any time, so let's raise our voices now!

Here's how you can help.

Submit a letter of support to Governor Brown. Download a customizable support letter and submission instructions. doc

Make a short, simple phone call to Governor Brown at 916.445.2841 to ask for his signature on AB 1871.

Hello. My name is ________. I live in ______, CA. I am calling to ask Governor Brown to sign AB 1871, a bill authored by Assemblymember Bonta, that will give low-income students in charter schools guaranteed access to school meals. I believe that all children living in poverty deserve nutritious meals, no matter where they go to school. Thank you.

  • #AB1871 by @RobBonta means we feed kids no matter where they go to school. Asking for your support @JerryBrownGov to help CA students reach their full potential. #FoodAndFairness
  • We need #AB1871 by @RobBonta because no child should go hungry in a CA public school. Asking for your support @JerryBrownGov to give all students a fair shot at success. #FoodAndFairness
  • Food is fundamental to success & learning. No child should go without, no matter where they go to school. @JerryBrownGov asking for your support on #AB1871 by @RobBonta #FeedingSuccess
  • Hunger shouldn't limit school choice because hunger shouldn't BE a school choice. Asking @JerryBrownGov to support #AB1871 by @RobBonta. #FeedingSuccess
Learn More
Find factsheets, data, stories, and more on our AB 1871 page.

Contact: Tia Shimada  at 510.433.1122 x 109