This bill would require the State Department of Education to provide a grant of up to $100,000 to a school food authority to purchase commercial grade kitchen equipment for individual campuses or to combine grants to create a centralized food preparation site.
AAP Positional Letter
June 11, 2018
The Honorable Sharon Quirk-Silva
State Capitol, Room 6012
Sacramento, CA 94249
RE: AB 2271 (Quirk-Silva) School food authorities: federal equipment assistance grants: matching state grants
AAP-CA Position: Support
Dear Assemblymember Quirk-Silva,
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, strongly supports proposed legislation AB 2271 (Quirk-Silva), to require the State Department of Education to provide a grant of up to $100,000 to a school food authority to purchase commercial grade kitchen equipment for individual campuses or to combine grants to create a centralized food preparation site.
Many California children simply do not have access to fresh fruits and vegetables at home. Their families may be unable to afford these foods and they rely on school lunches for a nutritious meal. This has grave implications for children’s health. In the short term, children who do not eat a healthy diet with plenty of immune-boosting fruits and vegetables are likely to get sick more often and miss more school. In the long term, they could be at risk of chronic or serious illness. According to a 2014 study by the Pew Charitable Trust, more than 3.2 million children in California participate in the National School Lunch Program each school day.
Pew also reports that 88% of districts need at least one additional item of major kitchen equipment and 55% of districts need kitchen infrastructure changes. Inadequate kitchen equipment, particularly food processing and storage equipment, makes it difficult to ensure that fresh fruits and vegetables are part of the one nutritious meal these children might have on any given day.
AB 2271 would provide needed funding for schools to purchase the commercial grade food equipment that would allow preparation and storage of fresh food and produce. Investing in kitchens and cafeterias will help schools better serve the nutritious foods and beverages students need.
Pediatrician members of AAP California Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 statewide strongly support your proposed legislation AB 2271. Thank you for your public service and leadership on behalf of the health and wellbeing of children, youth, and families in California.
Chief Executive Officer, American Academy of Pediatrics, California
cc: AAP-CA Leadership; Lobbyist Lydia Bourne; Elayna Ng, MD, Senior Policy Analyst