Healthy Meals Provider and Champion of Citywide Wellness Highlights Significance of a Future with Permanent Free School Meals in the U.S.
OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The State of California recently signed a momentous budget that includes permanent funding for free school meals for all K-12 students throughout the state. Revolution Foods, a public benefit corporation transforming citywide wellness by providing healthy, dignified, culturally relevant and affordable meals for school and community feeding programs nationwide, urges lawmakers in other states to follow suit.
In the wake of skyrocketing food insecurity rates and other challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government made breakfast and lunch free for all K-12 students in all 50 states. This meal service waiver has been extended through the end of the 2021-2022 school year. Recognizing the importance of school meals for all for the health and well-being of young people, California became the first state to permanently adopt free school meals, followed by Maine shortly thereafter. Kristin Groos Richmond, CEO and co-founder of Revolution Foods, calls this a big milestone in the fight against food insecurity.
"Schools have long been vital sources of healthy meals for children, and often the only available source of food for children of low-income families," explains Richmond. "COVID-19 has increased the already enormous number of American kids experiencing food insecurity, and we believe it is crucial for state and federal leaders to take action in ensuring all children—not just those who meet income eligibility requirements—have access to nutritious food by funding permanent free school meal programs nationwide."
In 2019, prior to the pandemic, the national food insecurity rate for children was at its lowest in more than 20 years (10.7 million). In 2020, that number rose to 15 million or 1 in 5 children. Emma Steinberg, MD, chef and former advisory board member for San Francisco Unified School District has seen the need for universal school meals firsthand in her clinical practice and community work. Steinberg insists it is up to the remaining 48 states to invest in school meal programs to give more children access to the nutrition they need to achieve their full potential.
"By following California's lead in partnership with local organizations like Revolution Foods, the nation can build on the success of the temporary meal program waivers to prioritize food security and children's health in the long term," said Steinberg.
Recently, many school districts have also been facing supply chain constraints driven by COVID-19 impacts and as a result, school menus have been shrinking due to labor and ingredient shortages. This is limiting a variety of meal options and may deter students from getting healthy meals at school. Revolution Foods understands the challenges school districts are facing in the new school year, and it is working diligently to ensure its partners are not faced with similar issues.
For more information about Revolution Foods, please visit RevolutionFoods.com.
About Revolution Foods
Founded in 2006, Revolution Foods is a public benefit corporation committed to transforming citywide wellness and making healthy, chef-crafted, culturally relevant meals accessible to all. The company's innovative approach began with serving freshly prepared, healthy meals to students in the San Francisco Bay Area. Since then, the company has designed, produced and delivered close to 500 million meals to various sites across 23 states, including community feeding programs, childhood education centers, districts, charter schools, senior programs, and afterschool youth programs. Committed to combating food insecurity, Revolution Foods remains a certified B Corporation — recognized by B Lab with the COVID-19 Impact Award — aiming to drive systems change and a brighter future for our nation. For more information, visit RevolutionFoods.com.
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SOURCE Revolution Foods