New CA meal program provides free breakfast and lunch to all students

California is trying to make sure that returning school students get enough to eat, whether or not they can afford it.
California is trying to make sure that returning school students get enough to eat, whether or not they can afford it. Photo credit Getty Images

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS RADIO) – California is trying to make sure that returning school students get enough to eat, whether or not they can afford it.

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Food costs are on the rise and for many families providing meals for their children attending school can be difficult. While a nationwide program offering waivers for families is expiring, California is picking up the slack with a new universal meals program for school children and will offer breakfast and lunch at no cost regardless of income.

"California, Maine and Vermont are going to be providing meals to all students for at least the 2022-2023 school year," Jamie Bussel Senior Program Officer with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation told KCBS Radio.

Bussel said good nutrition is so important for students.

"It does play a critical role in student health while being an academic success," she said.

The state will now cover the difference between the federal reimbursement rate and reimburse the school districts for all free meals provided.

"It's just so critically important that there's a political will there to really prioritize the needs of kids and families," she explained.

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