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AB-479 School meals: plant-based food and milk options: California School Plant-Based Food and Beverage Program.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 05/17/2019 04:00 AM
AB479:v96#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  May 16, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 10, 2019
Amended  IN  Assembly  April 04, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 479


Introduced by Assembly Members Nazarian and Kalra
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Berman, Bloom, Levine, and Voepel)

February 12, 2019


An act to add Article 11.9 (commencing with Section 49569) to Chapter 9 of Part 27 of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Education Code, relating to school meals.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 479, as amended, Nazarian. School meals: plant-based food and milk options: California School Plant-Based Food and Beverage Program.
Existing law requires each school district or county superintendent of schools maintaining kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, and, commencing with the 2019–20 school year, each charter school, to provide for each needy pupil one nutritionally adequate free or reduced-price meal during each schoolday. Existing law sets the reimbursement rates for free or reduced-price meals served to needy pupils at specified amounts.
This bill would establish within the State Department of Education the California School Plant-Based Food and Beverage Program. The bill would authorize a local educational agency, as defined, to apply for funding, upon appropriation by the Legislature, for reimbursement of up to $0.20 per meal for meals that include a plant-based food option, as defined, or up to $0.10 per meal for a meal that includes a plant-based milk option, as defined, or both. The bill would also require the department, upon a one-time appropriation by the Legislature, to provide grants of up to $100,000 to local educational agencies for additional purposes relating to the program. The bill would authorize the department to accept funding from private sources for the purpose of providing reimbursements or grants pursuant to these provisions.
The bill would require the department to adopt regulations to implement the program, establish guidelines for the evaluation of the program, report evaluation results to the Legislature, and conduct outreach.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Article 11.9 (commencing with Section 49569) is added to Chapter 9 of Part 27 of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Education Code, to read:
Article  11.9. California School Plant-Based Food and Beverage Program

49569.
 (a) There is hereby established within the department the California School Plant-Based Food and Beverage Program.
(b) In making procurement decisions pursuant to this article, local educational agencies are encouraged to give preference to the purchase of plant-based food options and plant-based milk options from California producers, when commercially available.

49569.1.
 (a) Upon appropriation by the Legislature in the annual Budget Act or another statute for purposes of this section, a local educational agency may apply for reimbursement in an amount up to twenty cents ($0.20) per meal for meals that include a plant-based food option and up to ten cents ($0.10) per meal for meals that include a plant-based milk option. A single meal with both a plant-based food option and a plant-based milk option is eligible to receive reimbursement for both options, not to exceed the cost of the meal. The department shall pay the reimbursement amounts in quarterly installments. Reimbursement funds shall be deposited into the nonprofit food service account of the local educational agency. Reimbursement provided pursuant to this section shall be in addition to any other state or federal funding or reimbursement received.
(b) A local educational agency applying for the funds described in subdivision (a) shall provide documentation of the number of plant-based food options and plant-based milk options reimbursable under the federal National School Lunch Program that the local educational agency served in the baseline 2018–19 school year. A local educational agency that does not provide this documentation is not eligible for funding pursuant to this section.
(c) The funds described in subdivision (a) shall be available for plant-based food options or plant-based milk options that represent an increase from the number of reimbursable plant-based food options or plant-based milk options served in the baseline 2018–19 school year, as demonstrated by the documentation required pursuant to subdivision (b).
(d) (1) The department may limit the total amount of reimbursements provided pursuant to this section to three million dollars ($3,000,000) per year.
(2) A limit established pursuant to paragraph (1) does not apply to funding from private sources.

49569.2.
 (a) Upon a one-time appropriation by the Legislature in the annual Budget Act or another statute for purposes of this section, the department shall provide grants, in an amount up to one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), to local educational agencies for both of the following:

(a)

(1) To contract with third parties for professional development training for schoolsite staff on serving, including preparing, procuring, advertising, and creating menus for plant-based food options or plant-based milk options. These grants shall be awarded on a competitive basis.

(b)

(2) To collect the baseline data described in subdivision (b) of Section 49569.1.
(b) In providing grants pursuant to this section, the department shall give priority to local educational agencies with the largest percentage of pupils eligible to receive free or reduced-price lunches.

49569.3.
 The department shall do all of the following:
(a) Adopt regulations, as it deems necessary, to implement the program established pursuant to this article.
(b) Establish guidelines for the evaluation of the meal reimbursement and grant program.
(c) (1) Complete an evaluation of the meal reimbursement and grant program and report the results of the evaluation to the Legislature in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code by September 1, 2023. The evaluation shall include the number of local educational agencies that applied for and received meal reimbursement, the number of meals provided by each local educational agency, the number of local educational agencies that applied for and received grant funding, and the manner in which local educational agencies used grant funds.
(2) The requirement for submitting a report imposed under paragraph (1) is inoperative on September 1, 2027, pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code.
(d) Conduct outreach, with special attention given to the local educational agencies with the largest percentage of pupils eligible to receive free or reduced-price lunches.

49569.4.
 The department may accept funding from private sources for the purpose of providing reimbursements pursuant to Section 49569.1 or grants pursuant to Section 49569.2.

49569.5.
 For purposes of this article, the following definitions apply:
(a) “Local educational agency” means a school district, county office of education, or charter school maintaining kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, that participates in the federal National School Lunch Program.
(b) “Nonprofit food service account” has the same meaning as defined in Section 210.2 of Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(c) “Plant-based food option” means a food that contains no animal products or byproducts, including meat, poultry, fish, dairy, or eggs, and that is recognized by the United States Department of Agriculture as a meat alternate for purposes of the federal National School Lunch Program.
(d) “Plant-based milk option” means a beverage that contains no animal products or byproducts, including dairy, and that is recognized by the United States Department of Agriculture as a nondairy fluid milk substitute for purposes of the federal National School Lunch Program.