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California public schools will be required to offer free meals to students

Gov. Newsom signed into law a new piece of legislation that guarantees all students will receive lunch even if their parents or guardians have not paid their meal fees.

Posted: Oct 15, 2019 12:54 PM
Updated: Oct 15, 2019 1:00 PM

CALIFORNIA - Governor Newsom signed into law a new piece of legislation that guarantees all students will receive lunch even if their parents or guardians have not paid their meal fees. 

"I think it is an issue. There's a lot of kids where the only meals they get are the meals they get through the schools," Trinette Samson, a parent who spoke with Action News Now said.

That's where a new law signed by Gov. Newsom comes into play, addressing a key issue in the cafeterias. Director of Nutrition, Vince Enserro spoke with Action News Now about lunch shaming.

"Meal shaming and not stopping a child from eating, which we never do in our department or our district."

The Chico Unified School District says they've been ahead of the curve, they said they haven't charged any students on the reduced program for the past two years.

"We don't ask questions, we don't meal shame we don't ask about how much money they owe on their account," Enserro said. "We're just able to feed the kids and push them through the lines."

Samson said she gets why this bill is a good idea.

"Cause all you're focusing on is when do I get to eat next," Samson said. "what is my next meal, instead of focusing on the instruction that the teacher is trying to give you."

As Enserro said this initiative won't come without its challenges.

"Unfortunately, it costs us quite a bit of money because it's hard for us to turn around and recoup that money from the parents when they don't reply to our emails, reply to our phone calls," Enserro said.

The legislation also addresses ways to effectively let parents or guardians know if they have a negative balance. 

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California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 559746

Reported Deaths: 10377
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2085634977
Riverside40452799
Orange39641726
San Bernardino35712546
San Diego32330593
Kern23583171
Fresno17290171
Alameda13213208
San Joaquin12303211
Santa Clara11687204
Sacramento10795161
Tulare10475196
Imperial9693244
Stanislaus9665162
Contra Costa9182139
Ventura814689
San Francisco754867
Santa Barbara670469
San Mateo6110120
Marin532779
Monterey529335
Merced501264
Kings445356
Solano402940
Sonoma355647
Madera230239
Placer218620
San Luis Obispo209315
Yolo172143
Santa Cruz12386
Butte10958
Napa104610
Sutter9427
El Dorado7291
San Benito7154
Lassen6380
Yuba6004
Mendocino43110
Shasta41810
Colusa3624
Glenn3603
Nevada3221
Humboldt2824
Tehama2761
Lake2202
Amador1642
Mono1541
Tuolumne1522
Calaveras1471
Del Norte990
Siskiyou930
Inyo893
Mariposa612
Plumas340
Modoc50
Trinity50
Sierra30
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Chico
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Oroville
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Willows
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Monday was almost as hot as Sunday for most of northern California as a ridge of high pressure controlled our weather. A cooling trend is coming, but it will only cool to seasonable levels in the short term.
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