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



Current Version: 06/24/19 - Amended Senate         Compare Versions information image


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 Climate-Friendly Food  School Plant-Based Food and Beverage  Program
49569.
 (a) There is hereby established within the department the California Climate-Friendly Food Program to provide incentives for making healthy and low-carbon food and beverages available to public school pupils. School Plant-Based Food and Beverage Program. 
(b) The California Climate-Friendly Food Program is intended to encourage public schools to provide plant-based food options and plant-based milk options to pupils in order to increase access to meals that meet the dietary, cultural, philosophical, and religious needs of pupils and their families, to support California’s climate change mitigation goals, and to promote the consumption of healthy food by all schoolage children.
(c) (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, reimbursement  in an amount that the department shall determine,  of up to twenty cents ($0.20) per meal  for meals that include a plant-based food option and for reimbursement, in an amount that the department shall determine, for  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 meals that meet both of the following criteria:
(1) (c)  The plant-based food option funds described in subdivision (a) shall be available for plant-based food options  or plant-based milk option represents  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).
(2) (d)  If a plant-based milk option is served, the plant-based milk option is associated with a lower level of greenhouse gas emissions than cow’s milk, as determined by the department in consultation with the State Air Resources Board. Upon appropriation by the Legislature in the annual Budget Act or another statute for purposes of this section, a local educational agency that receives meal reimbursement pursuant to this section shall receive an additional one-time payment of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000) for the costs of collecting the 2018–19 school year baseline data. The department shall make one-time payments pursuant to this subdivision on a first-come-first-served basis. 
(e) (1) The department may limit the total amount of reimbursements and payments provided pursuant to this section to a total of 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 that the department shall determine, to  of up to one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), to  local educational agencies for both any  of the following:
(a) (1)  To contract with third parties for professional development training for schoolsite staff on serving, including preparing, marketing,  procuring, menuing, and promoting,  advertising, and creating menus for  plant-based food options or plant-based milk options. These grants shall be awarded on a competitive basis. 
(2) To purchase cafeteria equipment to prepare plant-based food options or plant-based milk options, as needed.
(3) To provide technical assistance and pupil engagement and education on plant-based food options and plant-based milk options, including providing taste tests, recipe development, and culinary education.
(4) To provide additional compensation for additional work relating to serving meals that include a plant-based food option or a plant-based milk option pursuant to Section 49569.1, to the extent that funding is made available in the grant for this purpose.
(b) Grants awarded for a purpose identified in subdivision (a) shall be awarded on a competitive basis.
(c) 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.
(d) (1) Before entering into a contract with a third party for professional development training pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a), a local educational agency shall complete negotiations on the training with the schoolsite staff’s exclusive representative, as defined in Section 3540.1 of the Government Code, if requested to do so by the exclusive representative.
(b) (2)  To collect the baseline data described in subdivision (b) of Section 49569.1.  An employee shall not be required to attend professional development training pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) for which the employee does not receive at least that employee’s regular rate of pay or that takes place outside of that employee’s normal working hours. 
49569.3.
 The department, in consultation with the state board and the State Air Resources Board,  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 program established pursuant to this article. 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 and payments, 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.
(c) (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 State Air Resources Board shall do both of the following: department may accept funding from private sources for the purpose of providing reimbursements and payments pursuant to Section 49569.1 or grants pursuant to Section 49569.2. 
(a) Determine the average reduction in greenhouse gas emissions associated with replacing a typical reimbursable food option that is recognized by the United States Department of Agriculture as a meat option for purposes of the federal National School Lunch Program with a typical plant-based food option.
(b) Submit a report each year to the Legislature in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code that documents the estimated greenhouse gas emissions reductions achieved by the California Climate-Friendly Food Program.
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.