PRESS RELEASE: With Schools Beginning to Reopen, No Kid Hungry California Honors School Nutrition Workers, Announces More Than $8 Million in Grants to Support Free Meals

March 11, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | March 8, 2021

Contact: Jessica Ng | jng@mercuryllc.com | 510-508-2836

With Schools Beginning to Reopen, No Kid Hungry California Honors School Nutrition Workers, Provides $8.8 Million in Grants to Support Free Meals

California State Legislature Passes Resolution Commemorating March 8–12 as School Breakfast Week

Pasadena, Calif. – With many school districts across the state planning to reopen campuses to in-person learning, No Kid Hungry California today announced another $507,035 in grants to schools and nonprofits that are working to make free meals available to all kids during this crisis. Since campuses closed nearly a year ago, No Kid Hungry California has provided a total of $8.8 million in grants to help ensure all children in California – especially those who rely on school meals – can continue to get the food they need to support their health and academic success.

“It’s been nearly a year since the pandemic upended daily life in California, putting many more children at risk of hunger. The economic devastation this has caused for families will continue even as case counts go down and Californians are vaccinated,” said No Kid Hungry California Director Kathy Saile. “Especially as schools begin to reopen campuses for in-person learning, school meals will continue to be a critical lifeline for students and their families. The nutrition workers who have continued to serve meals throughout the pandemic are unsung heroes, and No Kid Hungry is proud to continue honoring and supporting their tireless work.”

Today’s announcement includes an additional $507,035 in grants to increase school meal participation, serve meals to hard-to-reach students and provide school nutrition staff with the necessary equipment like PPE and portable tents to ensure safe meal distribution. The grants will also be used to integrate breakfast in the classroom when students are back on campus. The following districts and organizations are among those that have received grants in recent weeks:

  • Alvord Unified School District
  • Colton Joint Unified School District
  • Scholarship Prep
  • Gabriella Charter Schools
  • Larchmont Charter Schools
  • Paramount Unified School District
  • Natomas Unified School District
  • Dolores Huerta Foundation
  • Glendale Unified School District
  • Lynwood Unified School District
  • Kern County Library

Seventeen million kids could face hunger this year in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, including more than 2.2 million right here in California. In recognition of the immense contributions of school nutrition workers to feed these children during the pandemic, the California State Assembly also officially declared March 8–12 as School Breakfast Week. Assembly Concurrent Resolution 38, authored by Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio (D-Baldwin Park) and 72 additional co-authors was unanimously approved.


The text of ACR 38 is as follows:

  • WHEREAS, Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly one in six California children lived in food insecure households, meaning that they did not have consistent access to adequate food; and
  • WHEREAS, The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the economic hardship that many families are facing, especially among communities of color, with 2,200,000 California children potentially facing hunger as a result; and
  • WHEREAS, More than 59 percent of California public school pupils, which is more than 3,500,000 pupils, qualify for free or reduced-price school breakfast, yet are learning virtually to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and meet local public safety regulations; and
  • WHEREAS, Many school nutrition programs have continued to provide vital emergency meals to pupils and their families during the pandemic through innovative models, such as drive-thru operations and delivery services; and
  • WHEREAS, School meals became a lifeline to many children and families, easing the financial strain and uncertainty caused by COVID-19 economic disruptions, and serving as a consistent source of food for pupils; and
  • WHEREAS, School meals will continue to play a critical role in keeping children nourished through the 2020–21 school year and into the foreseeable future; and
  • WHEREAS, School nutrition programs continue to face unique operational challenges this school year as school meal services are adapted to meet safety recommendations and aligned with new models of instruction; and
  • WHEREAS, Eating school breakfast is associated with positive pupil behavioral health and academic performances, such as better test score results, improved concentration, and fewer class disruptions; and
  • WHEREAS, School breakfast participation is also associated with a lower body mass index, which is an indicator of sustainable body fat, a lower probability of being overweight, and a lower probability of obesity; now, therefore, be it
  • Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That the Legislature hereby proclaims March 8, 2021, to March 12, 2021, inclusive, as School Breakfast Week; and be it further
  • Resolved, That the Legislature recognizes the critical role of school nutrition programs to help provide nutritious food for children who have been facing heightened food insecurity, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic; and be it further
  • Resolved, That the Legislature recognizes the invaluable service of school nutrition staff who have worked tirelessly to help children in their communities access food despite unprecedented challenges; and be it further
  • Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the author for appropriate distribution.

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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