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Students may soon be able to enjoy more fresh, nutritious food in school meals under a new budget proposal introduced by Gov. Gavin Newsom in his 2020-21 preliminary budget.
The budget proposal, if signed into law, would provide at least $70 million in funding – a 40% increase – to strengthen food service programs and improve the quality of school meals. The funding will support efforts to purchase and serve more freshly prepared, locally grown food, and fuel farm-to-school and sustainability initiatives.
“We know these funds will help children across the state gain access to more locally sourced, healthy, freshly prepared school meals, give school food service staff the tools to succeed, and bolster local California economies through purchasing from local growers and farmers,” said Kat Taylor, founder of the TomKat Foundation and a partner with California Food for California Kids.
A diverse coalition of organizations, including the Center for Ecoliteracy, NextGen California, the California School Employees Association and Taylor have joined leaders from dozens of organizations in agriculture, education and public health to boost investment in school nutrition. Their efforts build upon the work by Ross and Thurmond.
“Our members who work as cooks, servers, clerks and delivery drivers see first-hand the positive impact providing a nutritious meal can have on students,” said Ben Valdepeña, president of the California School Employees Association. “Without food, students cannot learn, and good nutrition enables students to meet their education and physical potential.”
For information, visit californiafoodforcaliforniakids.org.
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