STATEMENT: No Kid Hungry California Applauds Legislature, Governor for Providing $112 Million for Emergency School Meals

June 29, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | JUNE 26, 2020
Contact:  Jessica Ng | jng@mercuryllc.com| 510-508-2836

No Kid Hungry California Applauds Legislature, Governor for Providing $112 Million for Emergency School Meals

 

 Pasadena, Calif. – No Kid Hungry California Director Kathy Saile today issued the following statement applauding the California State Legislature for allocating $112.2 million in funding for emergency school meals through the state budget. The funding, which is included in Senate Bill 98, was approved by the California State Assembly this evening; the California State Senate is expected to approve the measure next week. Governor Gavin Newsom must sign the budget before the new fiscal year begins on July 1:

 

“School meal programs have continued to be a lifeline for millions of California kids who are facing hunger – many for the first time – during the COVID-19 pandemic. We commend the California State Legislature and Governor Gavin Newsom for reaching a compromise budget that includes $112.2 million in funding for emergency meals. These dollars will be a tremendous help to schools that are not only continuing to feed kids through the summer but are already preparing to serve school meals in a completely new way this fall. We are extremely grateful for the continued work of school nutrition staff and others working on the front line to make sure kids are nourished through this ongoing crisis, and we applaud this investment in the programs that make that possible.”

 

The state budget compromise appropriates $112.2 million from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund – approved by Congress as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act – for school meal reimbursements during summer break and COVID-19 school closures, at a rate of up to 75 cents per meal.

 

No Kid Hungry has continually advocated for robust funding for school nutrition programs, many of which have been on the front lines of serving meals to children during the pandemic. Due to the additional costs of providing and packaging meals during the pandemic, as well as of securing personal protective equipment for staff serving meals, many school districts have exhausted their nutrition budgets. To support these initiatives, No Kid Hungry has provided nearly $3 million in emergency grants to 107 schools and nonprofit organizations across the state. The campaign also launched a texting hotline to let parents know about emergency and summer meal distribution sites in their neighborhoods. Parents and caregivers can text the word “FOOD” (or “COMIDA”) to 877-877 to find the nearest sites.

 

A new report from Feeding America projects California will see a bigger increase in child food insecurity resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic than any other state in the nation, estimating that a total of 2.2 million kids in our state could face hunger this year.

 

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About No Kid Hungry

No child should go hungry in America. But 1 in 4 kids could face hunger due to the coronavirus pandemic. No Kid Hungry is ending childhood hunger through effective programs that provide kids with the food they need. This is a problem we know how to solve. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of Share Our Strength, an organization working to end hunger and poverty. Join us at NoKidHungry.org