Today's Law As Amended


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AB-2360 Pupil nutrition: best practices for school districts to create food bank partnerships.(2017-2018)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) Food insecure households are those that are uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, enough food to meet the needs of all their members because of insufficient money or other resources for food.
(2) Food insecure households affect all persons living in the household, especially developing children.
(3) Extensive bodies of research indicates food insecurity negatively impacts school performance in children, and may lead to poor health and stunted development.
(4) In an effort to address childhood hunger and its impact on learning, the United States Department of Agriculture allocates funds to the federal National School Lunch Program, which is managed at the state level, to provide nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to qualifying children each day.
(5) The Office of Farm to Fork, within the Department of Food and Agriculture, is tasked with promoting food access and increasing the amount of nutritious food available to underserved communities and schools to the extent resources are available. The Office of Farm to Fork connects school districts and community members directly with California’s farmers and ranchers to assist in increasing access to healthy and nutritious California-grown food for pupils and the community by identifying opportunities and providing technical assistance for collaboration between specified groups for the collection and distribution of agricultural products for the purposes of reducing hunger and increasing access to healthy foods, increasing access to nutrition education programs and information in schools, and providing the necessary tools to facilitate relationships between local producers and school food procurement personnel.
(6) California’s version of the federal government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is known as CalFresh, a program that provides monthly benefits to assist low-income households in purchasing the food they need to maintain adequate nutritional levels.
(7) According to a 2017 report by the United States Department of Agriculture, SNAP programs are under subscribed in states across the country, and California ranks near the bottom of the list.
(8) Significant changes in immigration policies contribute to the reduction of SNAP and CalFresh registrations in eligible immigrant communities and households, which may directly and negatively effect the long-term health and growth of children.
(b) It is therefore the intent of the Legislature to promote pupil access to nutritional food and to support low-income and immigrant communities.

SEC. 2.

 Section 49416 is added to the Education Code, to read:

49416.
 (a) The department shall collaborate with the Department of Food and Agriculture, including its Office of Farm to Fork, and consult with the State Department of Public Health and the State Department of Social Services, and other entities and experts determined relevant by the department, to develop and promote best practices for school districts to create partnerships with food banks that increase the access of pupils in transitional kindergarten, kindergarten, and any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, to fresh produce and healthy foods, for the purpose of reducing pupil hunger and food insecurity outside of standard school hours. The purpose of the best practices shall be to encourage the creation of those partnerships and shall include, at a minimum, all of the following:
(1) Best practices for school districts on how to create a partnership program with local food banks.
(2) Ideal and suitable roles and responsibilities for the school district for partnerships with local food banks.
(3) Recommendations, provided by appropriate sources, for reducing food insecurity among pupils by promoting acceptance of CalFresh benefits among eligible families.
(4) Recommended methods, provided by appropriate sources, for increasing pupil access to fresh produce and healthy foods outside of standard school hours. Methods may include, but are not limited to, the establishment of school pantries by school districts and food banks, and providing pupils with preassembled food packages before holiday, intersession, vacation, and weekend periods.
(5) Information, provided by appropriate sources, on common dietary deficiencies in food insecure children, and recommended foods that would alleviate such deficiencies.
(6) Information, provided by appropriate sources, on state and federal food handling regulations.
(7) Information, provided by appropriate sources, on state and federal food donation laws and protections.
(8) Recommendations on food transportation by school personnel, cost control, and food safety.
(9) Information on federal and state resources that could support a school district partnership with a food bank.
(b) On or before January 1, 2020, the department and the Office of Farm to Fork shall each post on its respective Internet Web site the best practices developed pursuant to subdivision (a).
(c) On or before July 1, 2020, the department shall disseminate to school districts the best practices developed pursuant to subdivision (a).