Today, Calif. Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 708 authored by Senator Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia), which will address childhood hunger and improve access to the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs. The bill will direct schools to make applications for free or reduced-price meals available electronically online, to provide them in multiple languages and to follow uniform standards. The bill goes into effect on January 1, 2016.
“I applaud Governor Brown for signing SB 708,” said Senator Tony Mendoza. “My bill will help improve access and participation in federally-funded school meal programs by ensuring that schools provide the applications online and offer them in multiple languages. My hope is that the bill will help better serve the needs of a diverse student population.”
Said Jessica Bartholow, Legislative Advocate for California’s Western Center on Law and Poverty, “Child hunger is an indignity that no child should experience, yet approximately 16 million children in America do. SB 708 will remove barriers to apply for benefits for homeless, migrant and refugee families and will make California the first state in the country to have a law protecting the privacy rights for parents and children who apply for the federal School Meal Program online.”