BERKELEY'S NEWS • SEPTEMBER 25, 2022

California becomes first state to mandate free school meals

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JOE WOLF | CREATIVE COMMONS

Photo by Joe Wolf under CC BY-SA 2.0

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AUGUST 15, 2022

As TK-12 students across California return to school in the upcoming weeks, they will be greeted with a groundbreaking surprise: free school meals.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation implementing the Universal Meals Program, a state mandate that all public and charter schools provide at least two free meals every day for students upon request.

Prior, the state operated with a free and reduced meals program, in which eligibility was determined by household income. However, the new program for the 2022-23 school year will require schools to serve all students for free, according to a California Department of Education press release.

The legislation also provides $150 million in funding for kitchen upgrades and nutrition-related staff training to prepare schools for implementation of the program.

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LAST UPDATED

AUGUST 15, 2022


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