Victory! Bill Promoting Nutritious Plant-Based School Meals Passes California Assembly
SACRAMENTO, Calif.—The Child Nutrition Act of 2022 (AB 558), a bill co-sponsored by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, passed the California State Assembly today. The bill incentivizes K-12 public schools across the state to offer healthier, climate-friendly plant-based meals and beverages.
“As the country continues to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring that California’s students have access to healthy plant-based meals that promote overall wellness and help support their immunity is a more urgent need than ever,” says Maggie Neola, RD, a dietitian with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
Diet-related conditions worsen COVID-19 cases, and children experiencing the effects of unhealthy eating that used to be reserved for adults—obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes—can benefit greatly from reducing meat and dairy consumption and increasing the amount of plant-based foods they eat. A better diet will improve children’s lives not only in the pandemic but for years to come.
California Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian (D-46) authored the Child Nutrition Act of 2022. The bill will now move to the California State Senate for further consideration.
“Children in California need the nutritious plant-based meals that this legislation will provide," adds Neola. "The Physicians Committee urges the California Senate to swiftly pass this bill and send it to Governor Newsom’s desk.”
Besides AB 558, the Physicians Committee advocates to expand access to plant-based school meals across the country, including working to pass New York bill A.301 / S.1726, which would give every student in New York public schools options for healthy plant-based foods.
The Physicians Committee has quantity plant-based recipes and other resources for students, parents, and schools at HealthySchoolLunches.org.
Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in education and research.