100+ Organizations Submit Letter Requesting California Legislature Protect School Meals for All in the State Budget

Read the full letter here


March 13th, 2024

The Honorable Gavin Newsom
Governor, State of California
1021 O Street, Suite 9000
Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: SUPPORT – Governor’s Proposal to Fully Fund School Meals for All in the 2024-25 Fiscal Year Budget

Dear Governor Newsom, Senate President pro Tempore McGuire, Assembly Speaker Rivas, Budget Committee Chairs Senator Wiener and Assemblymember Gabriel, and Budget Subcommittee Chairs Senator Laird and Assemblymember Alvarez,

The undersigned organizations are writing as the members of the 2024 School Meals for All Coalition to strongly support the Newsom Administration’s continued commitment to prioritize and protect school nutrition programs in the California Budget. We support the Administration’s thoughtful commitment to fully fund our state’s School Meals for All program in the January Budget proposal, especially during challenging economic times for California families. We strongly support the $122.2 million in funding for increased participation that will serve an estimated 845 million school meals in 2024–25. We respectfully urge the legislature to uphold this commitment to California’s legacy of safeguarding the health of our children by transforming school food.

California has been a national leader in the movement to provide free meals to all TK–12 public school students. This is due to a shared vision to fight child hunger with more freshly-prepared and California-grown school meals that benefit our state’s economy, its environment, and its students. To protect the progress towards this vision, we encourage you to uphold the ongoing commitments proposed in the January Budget that continue to fully fund School Meals for All. We also strongly support maintaining California’s state reimbursement of $0.9760 per meal. While other states struggle with decreased participation and concerns over the long-term financial sustainability of their school nutrition programs, more California students are choosing to participate in free school breakfasts and lunches, and fewer are going hungry. This is thanks to our state’s keen investments in students, schools, and school nutrition staff.

Read the full letter here.