California to become 1st state to offer free school lunches for all students



In California, 1 in 5 residents don’t know where their next meal will come from on average.

Leaders in education are acting as California’s food costs, inflation, and food insecurity grow.
All schoolchildren in California will get free lunches as part of the Universal Meals program starting with the current academic year.
The initiative will guarantee that all children have access to free lunches at school.
Both the children and the district benefit greatly from this.
The Merced Union High School District (MUHSD) had an early advantage. Due to the demand, the district already provided free breakfast and lunch, relieving the burden on the pupils waiting in the lunch queue.
Students may now obtain delicious selections for free across the state, eliminating the need to prepare a lunch.
In California, 1 in 5 residents don’t know where their next meal will come from on average.

Health and equity are thus front of mind, according to the head of nutritional services at MUHSD.


“It would create a barrier with eating meals during the day,” says Erin Tassey, “when a kid would walk through a lunch line and they were thought to be a free student.”
Yohan Zuzlewski, a student, is happy to be saving some money after having to pay for lunch last year.

“I remember having to pay for lunch when I was in elementary school, and I really didn’t enjoy it; it’s wonderful to know that this benefits everyone as a whole.”

The program is a part of Assembly Bill 130, which Governor Newsom signed into law in July of last year.
On Thursday, staff members at the school prepared the lunch menu by portioning out pizza and whole grain bread.
Federal and state governments together support the feeding programs.

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