New Law Combats Child Hunger, Increases Access to School Meals

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO – Today Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill 3043, authored by Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto), which will improve and increase access to school meals.


“Good nutrition and a full stomach are essential for learning in school,” said Assemblymember Berman. “Providing breakfast to all students at no cost and utilizing food trucks to provide nutritious meals are two ways to ensure that California students do not go hungry.”


Under the new law, schools will be able to use their cafeteria funds to offer Universal Breakfast, a program that provides a free nutritious breakfast to all students. This law also allows schools to purchase food trucks in order to provide additional points of service for students, which will help expand access to school meals while maintaining nutritional standards.


“As a former high school science teacher and coach, I know that all students need a healthy and nutritious breakfast to start the school day the right way,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. “Students who eat right and exercise will do better in class. This bill lets school districts offer a free breakfast to all students and even lets them serve from food trucks. I want to thank everyone who supported the bill. Let’s start serving breakfast for every student.”


According to No Kid Hungry, more than one in five California children live in poverty and over 1.7 million California households with children struggle to put food on the table. School meals are an effective way to combat child hunger and ensure that students are ready to learn. AB 3043 makes necessary changes that will help schools better provide these meals to California students.


“Principals and teachers across the country report when students start their day with a healthy meal, they attend more days of school per year, score higher on tests and are more likely to graduate high school. By making California’s school nutrition programs even more robust and more accessible for students across the state, AB 3043 will help ensure more kids have the food they need to thrive in school and beyond,” said No Kid Hungry California Director Kathy Saile. “We appreciate Assemblymember Berman’s leadership on this issue, and we applaud Governor Brown for signing this important bill.”


Contact: Kaitlin Curry, (916) 319-2024