Strengthening School Meals For All & Combating Summer Hunger
February 8, 2023
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February 8, 2023
Today State Senator Nancy Skinner introduced SB 348, which builds on California’s first-in-the-nation School Meals for All legislation that was passed in 2020 and implemented last year. The bill aims to make meaningful steps towards ending childhood hunger during the summer months.
The most current data shows that nearly 25.8% of households with children in California are food insecure. Further analyses highlight the role of systemic racism in driving poverty and hunger, particularly for households with children. In March 2022, food insecurity among white households with children was 17.9%, while 31.2% for Latinx and 28.7% for Black households with children. It is well documented that children who grow up in food-insecure households face significant, life-long health, social, and economic consequences.
Highlights of SB 348 include:
“We are thrilled to see this bill introduced, as it is a crucial step towards strengthening School Meals for All and ending childhood hunger,” said Becky Silva, government relations director for the California Association of Food Banks. “By ensuring that all children have enough time to eat and by providing adequate nutrition options for children during the summer months, we know we will be able to support millions of California children to learn and thrive.”
“We are looking forward to working with Senator Skinner and the California legislature to pass this critical bill,” said Silva. “All children should have adequate time to eat during their busy school days, robust options for accessing meals during the summer months when schools are closed, and be nourished by healthy meals while they’re at school. Access to food is a basic human right.”
The California Association of Food Banks is a member of the School Meals for All coalition and proud sponsor of this bill, along with the American Heart Association, GRACE / End Child Poverty CA, and TomKat Ranch.