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SB-499 School meals: California-Grown for Healthy Kids Program.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 04/10/2019 09:00 PM
SB499:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  April 10, 2019

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 499


Introduced by Senator McGuire

February 21, 2019


An act to amend Section 42238.01 of, and to add Article 11.7 (commencing with Section 49567) to Chapter 9 of Part 27 of Division 4 of Title 2 of, the Education Code, relating to school meals.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 499, as amended, McGuire. School meals: California-Grown for Healthy Kids Program.
(1) Existing law establishes a public school financing system that requires state funding for school districts and charter schools to be calculated pursuant to a local control funding formula, as specified. Existing law requires funding pursuant to the local control funding formula to include, in addition to a base grant, supplemental and concentration grant add-ons that are based on the percentage of pupils who are English learners, foster youth, or eligible for free or reduced-price meals, as specified, served by the school district or charter school. Existing law authorizes schools participating in certain federal school meals programs to establish a base year for purposes of calculating the number of pupils at the school who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals by determining each pupil’s eligibility status in that base year and using that number to report eligibility for up to each of the following 3 school years.
This bill would additionally allow schools participating in those federal school meals programs to establish a base year by carrying over the number of pupils at the school who were eligible for free or reduced-price meals from the school year in which the school applied to use a federal universal school meal provision.
(2) Existing law requires a school district or county superintendent of schools maintaining a kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, to provide a needy pupil, as defined, one nutritionally adequate free or reduced-price meal during each schoolday, and authorizes the school district or county superintendent of schools to use funds available from any federal or state school meals program to comply with that requirement. Existing law authorizes certain educational entities that participate in the federal School Breakfast Program, commencing with the 2019–20 fiscal year, to provide universal breakfast, as specified.
This bill would establish the California-Grown for Healthy Kids Program, administered by the State Department of Education, to increase the provision of universally free school meals made with fresh, California-grown fresh fruits and vegetables. The bill would require fresh, California-grown fruits and vegetables provided pursuant to the program to be provided free of charge to all pupils. The bill, contingent upon an appropriation made for these purposes, would make a school food authority, as defined, that meets specified requirements, including that it makes universally free school breakfast available in all schoolsites and provides universally free breakfast and lunch to all pupils in very high poverty schools, eligible to receive supplemental funding of $0.10 per breakfast served.
The bill would authorize a school food authority to combine funding received pursuant to the program with other public or private funding sources to ensure that at least 2 servings per day of fresh, California-grown fruits or vegetables, or both, are provided to pupils. The bill would require, as a condition of receipt of funds pursuant to the program, a schoolsite to offer nutrition education activities and provide pupils with culturally appropriate meals.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) Given the longlasting and negative impacts of childhood nutritional deprivation, ending child hunger is critical for the state of California.
(2) Pupils cannot learn when they are hungry, yet nearly 2 million California children are food insecure and at risk of hunger.
(3) Structural inequities have perpetuated profound racial disparities in health, education, employment, and income, leading to higher rates of food insecurity and educational opportunity gaps among low-income children of color.
(4) The cost of living in California is unbearable for many working poor and low-income families, which limits financial resources, including adequate money for food.
(5) School meals are a primary nutrition safety net for low-income children, and a major support for families struggling to make ends meet.
(6) Pupils who eat school meals are more likely to consume fruits, vegetables, milk, and nutrient-dense foods, which have particularly strong health benefits for low-income pupils.
(7) Universally free school meals provide optimal access to nutrition, and are supported by federal laws and regulations that allow schools to provide meals free of charge to all pupils, but many schools still struggle to provide universally free school meals due to fiscal constraints.
(8) When school meals are offered universally free to all children, school meal participation increases, in part by ending stigmas and burdensome meal debts.
(9) Schools are expected to provide all pupils with the necessary resources for learning, such as books, desks, qualified teachers, and safe environments, yet the most fundamental resource that every child needs in order to learn is nourishment for the brain and body.
(10) Federal, state, and local dollars spent on education and eliminating achievement gaps are wasted if classrooms have hungry pupils who struggle to focus and learn.
(11) As a top source of food production in the United States, California farms produce over one-third of the vegetables and two-thirds of the fruit grown in the nation, and purchases of California produce generate significant jobs and profits in agriculture and food processing and aggregation services.
(b) It is, therefore, the intent of the Legislature to create healthy, hunger-free schools with universally free school meals made with California-grown fruits and vegetables in order to support educational equity and child health and development.

SEC. 2.

 Section 42238.01 of the Education Code is amended to read:

42238.01.
 For purposes of Section 42238.02, the following definitions shall apply:
(a) “Eligible for free or reduced-price meals” means determined to meet federal income eligibility criteria, either through completing an application for the federal National School Lunch Program or through an alternative household income data collection form, or deemed to be categorically eligible for free or reduced-price meals under the federal National School Lunch Program, as described in Part 245 of Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
(1) (A) A school participating in a special assistance alternative authorized by Section 11(a)(1) of the federal Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (Public Law 113-79), including Provision 2, Provision 3, or the Community Eligibility Provision, may establish a base year for purposes of the local control funding formula by doing either of the following:
(i) Determining the pupils at the school who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals and using each pupil’s eligibility status in that base year to report eligibility for up to each of the following three school years.
(ii) Carrying over the number of pupils at the school who were eligible for free or reduced-price meals from the school year in which the school applied to use a federal universal school meal provision, and using each pupil’s eligibility status in that base year to report eligibility for up to each of the following three school years.
(B) The school may include between base year eligibility determinations, any newly enrolled pupils who are determined to be eligible for free or reduced-price meals or any current pupils found to be newly eligible for free or reduced-price meals as identified through a local or state direct certification match or another categorical designation.
(2) A school that uses the special assistance alternative shall maintain information on each pupil’s eligibility status and annually submit information on that status in the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (b) of Section 42238.02 or subparagraph (A) of paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 2574, as applicable.
(3) For a pupil who transfers to a school using a special assistance alternative and who is transferring between schools within the same school district, documentation supporting eligibility for that pupil for purposes of the local control funding formula may be transferred from the pupil’s old school to the pupil’s new school, as long as the documentation supporting eligibility for that pupil is less than four years old and is updated at least once every four years.
(4) To the extent permitted by federal law, a school may choose to establish a new base year for purposes of the federal National School Lunch Program at the same time the school establishes a new base year for purposes of the local control funding formula. A school may use federal National School Lunch Program application forms to collect household income data as permitted under the federal National School Lunch Program. If the use of federal National School Lunch Program application forms is not permitted, a school shall use alternative household income data collection forms.
(5) An alternative household income data collection form shall be confidential and shall not be shared by the school other than as necessary for purposes of determining funding allocations under the local control funding formula and for assessing the accountability of that funding. An alternative household income data collection form shall contain, at a minimum, all of the following information:
(A) Information sufficient to identify the pupil or pupils.
(B) Information sufficient to determine that the pupil or household meets federal income eligibility criteria sufficient to qualify for either a free or reduced-priced meal under the federal Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (Public Law 113-79).
(C) Certification that the information is true and correct by the pupil’s adult household member.
(6) Paragraphs (1) and (3) are effective commencing with the 2014–15 fiscal year.
(b) “Foster youth” means any of the following:
(1) A child who is the subject of a petition filed pursuant to Section 300 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, whether or not the child has been removed from home by the juvenile court pursuant to Section 319 or 361 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(2) A child who is the subject of a petition filed pursuant to Section 602 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, has been removed from home by the juvenile court pursuant to Section 727 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and is in foster care as defined by subdivision (d) of Section 727.4 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(3) A nonminor under the transition jurisdiction of the juvenile court, as described in Section 450 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, who satisfies all of the following criteria:
(A) The nonminor has attained 18 years of age while under an order of foster care placement by the juvenile court, and is not more than 19 years of age on or after January 1, 2012, not more than 20 years of age on or after January 1, 2013, and not more than 21 years of age, on or after January 1, 2014, and as described in Section 10103.5 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(B) The nonminor is in foster care under the placement and care responsibility of the county welfare department, county probation department, Indian tribe, consortium of tribes, or tribal organization that entered into an agreement pursuant to Section 10553.1 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(C) The nonminor is participating in a transitional independent living case plan pursuant to Section 475(8) of the federal Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 675), as contained in the federal Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-351), as described in Section 11403 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(4) (A) A dependent child of the court of an Indian tribe, consortium of tribes, or tribal organization who is the subject of a petition filed in the tribal court pursuant to the tribal court’s jurisdiction in accordance with the tribe’s law, provided that the child would also meet one of the descriptions in Section 300 of the Welfare and Institutions Code describing when a child may be adjudged a dependent child of the juvenile court.
(B) This paragraph is effective no later than the 2020–21 fiscal year.
(c) “Pupils of limited English proficiency” means pupils who do not have the clearly developed English language skills of comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing necessary to receive instruction only in English at a level substantially equivalent to pupils of the same age or grade whose primary language is English. “English learner” shall have the same meaning as provided for in subdivision (a) of Section 306 and as “pupils of limited English proficiency.”

SEC. 3.

 Article 11.7 (commencing with Section 49567) is added to Chapter 9 of Part 27 of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Education Code, to read:
Article  11.7. California-Grown for Healthy Kids Program

49567.
 (a) In order to support pupil health, achievement, and equity, it is the intent of the Legislature to increase the prevalence of hunger-free schools in California by providing nutritious, universally free school meals so that no pupil goes hungry in a public school.
(b) There is hereby established within the department the California-Grown for Healthy Kids Program to increase the provision of universally free school meals made with fresh, California-grown fresh fruits and vegetables. This program shall be administered by the department, in consultation with the Office of Farm to Fork in the Department of Food and Agriculture.
(c) The California-Grown for Healthy Kids Program is intended to encourage public schools maintaining prekindergarten, kindergarten, or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, to provide universally free school meals prepared with fresh, California-grown fruits and vegetables in order to increase school meal access among pupils in need, improve the quality of school meals available to those pupils, support California agriculture, and promote the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables by all schoolage children.
(d) Fresh, California-grown fruits and vegetables that are provided pursuant to this article shall be provided free of charge to all pupils.
(e) In making procurement decisions pursuant to this article, a school food authority is encouraged to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables from socially disadvantaged farmers, as defined in Section 512 of the Food and Agricultural Code, or from local producers, when commercially available.
(f) For purposes of this article, “nonprofit school food service account” and “school food authority” have the same meanings as those terms are defined in Section 210.2 of Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

49567.1.
 (a) (1) (A) In order to qualify for supplemental funding through the California-Grown for Healthy Kids Program, a school food authority shall, at a minimum, make universally free school breakfast available in all schoolsites, and provide universally free breakfast and lunch to all pupils in very high poverty schools, as defined in Section 49564.
(B) A school food authority is encouraged to provide breakfast and lunch free of charge to all pupils in all schoolsites by using federal universal meal provisions, including, but not limited to, the Community Eligibility Provision or Provision 1, 2, or 3 of the federal Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (42 U.S.C. Sec. 1751 et seq.). A school that does not use federal universal meal provisions may provide universal breakfast pursuant to Section 49550.5.
(2) The funds described in subdivision (b) shall be available to school food authorities that meet all of the following criteria:
(A) Provide at least one additional serving of fresh, California-grown fruits or vegetables, or both, at breakfast or lunch. lunch, or both, in order to meet or exceed the meal pattern requirements described in subdivision (b) of Section 49531.
(B) Spend at least 90 percent of the funding described in subdivision (b) for the direct purchase of fresh, California-grown fruits and vegetables.
(C) Do not spend any of the funding described in subdivision (b) for the purchase of juice.
(b) A school food authority that meets the criteria described in subdivision (a) is eligible to receive supplemental funding, appropriated for purposes of this article in the annual Budget Act or in another statute, for reimbursement of ten cents ($0.10) per breakfast served, to be paid in quarterly installments by the department, to supplement, but not supplant, school meals meal funds provided under the state meal program, federal School Breakfast Program, or federal National School Lunch Program. These funds shall be deposited into the nonprofit school food service account of the school food authority.

49567.2.
 The funds described in Section 49567.1 may be combined with other public or private funding sources to ensure that at least two servings per day of fresh, California-grown fruits or vegetables, or both, are provided to pupils pursuant to the California-Grown for Healthy Kids Program.

49567.3.
 A school food authority that already offers two servings of fresh, California-grown fruits or vegetables per day that meet or exceed the meal pattern requirements described in subdivision (b) of Section 49531 through breakfast and lunch at each schoolsite may be reimbursed at ten cents ($0.10) per breakfast for providing fresh, California-grown fruits or vegetables as snacks made freely available to all pupils during the schoolday.

49567.4.
 A school food authority that does not operate school breakfast programs is encouraged to apply for funding to establish school breakfast programs using funds appropriated for this purpose in the annual Budget Act for the purposes of Section 49550.3.

49567.5.
 Specific strategies to increase consumption of fresh, California-grown fruits and vegetables may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following:
(a) Offering fruit or salad bars with a minimum of three choices of fruits or vegetables, or both.
(b) Serving school breakfast after the start of the school day, through grab-and-go breakfasts, nutrition breaks, or classroom breakfasts with one to two servings of fresh, California-grown fruits or vegetables, or both. both, that meet or exceed the meal pattern requirements described in subdivision (b) of Section 49531.
(c) Using practices to minimize waste and reduce food insecurity, as provided in Section 114079 of the Health and Safety Code.
(d) Providing pupils with adequate time to eat.

49567.6.
 As a condition of receipt of funds pursuant to this article, a schoolsite participating in the California-Grown for Healthy Kids Program shall offer nutrition education activities and provide pupils with culturally appropriate meals. Activities may include, but are not limited to, all of the following:
(a) Educational sampling and tasting, with pupil cultural preferences incorporated into school menu planning.
(b) An offering of fruits or vegetables in the classroom that is reinforced with nutrition education or agricultural bulletins.
(c) A school campus farmers’ market that highlights California produce.
(d) A produce sampling program that supports a school garden’s harvest by featuring what is growing in the school garden.