Food with Care (SB 1481) Heads to Assembly Education, Show Your Support Today!

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Published on Jun 16, 2022 in Child Nutrition, State Legislation, Young Children

After passing Assembly Human Services on a unanimous, 7 -0 vote, SB 1481 (Becker) is headed to its next hearing in the Assembly Education Committee.

Thank you to all of our partners and supporters who helped get the bill this far. Your advocacy has brought us closer than ever to ensuring free daily meals to children in child care by enabling all child care providers to qualify for the highest level of reimbursements for the meals they serve. 

We also applaud Senator Becker’s leadership to ensure our youngest learners have the nutrition they need to learn, grow, and thrive to fulfill their full potential. We are also grateful to our bill co-sponsors, the CACFP Roundtable for their partnership and support.

You can support SB 1481 by sending in a letter of support today. Don’t wait, take action today!

Click here for a sample letter and directions on how to submit it to the Assembly Education Committee. Letters are due June 22!

Background

 California recently became the first state in the nation to expand free meals to all K-12 students. It’s time to make a similar investment in our youngest learners.

Federal rules for child care meal programs don’t reflect California’s true level of poverty—keeping many children from accessing nutritious, affordable meals. For example, a family of four must make less than $34,060 a year in order for a child care center to serve a free meal.

Child care providers take the hit financially for federal rules that don’t take into account California’s high cost of living. Each year, providers absorb tens of millions of dollars in costs for meals served to children who don’t qualify for free meals, but who need them all the same.

The harm to children and the burden on providers is exacerbated by state policies that financially penalize child care providers for feeding younger children. Existing statute creates a pay penalty that limits providers to only 75% of the state reimbursement for meals served. The pay penalty is the result of a racist legacy of child care laws—still in place today— that undercompensate labor historically performed by Black, Latina, and immigrant women.

With adequate funding and support, the federal Child and Adult Care Food Program, has the power to fill the gap in equitable access to healthy meals in child care while supporting the financial stability of the workforce.

What’s next?

Stay up to date on SB 1481 as it advances through the Legislature, and receive timely calls to action to make your voice heard in support of free meals for all kids and fair pay for providers. Sign up to receive email updates at our Action Center.

Questions? Contact Jared Call or Kameron Mims-Jones or visit our Food with Care homepage.

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