New Bill Promoting Nutritious Plant-Based Meals At Schools Passes California Assembly & Moves To The Senate For The Next Vote

The Child Nutrition Act of 2022 (AB 558), a bill co-sponsored by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, recently passed the California State Assembly.  The bill incentivizes K-12 public schools across the state to offer healthier, climate-friendly, plant-based meals and beverages.

Authored by California Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian, the bill now moves to the California State Senate for further consideration.

“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,” Maggie Neola, RD, a dietitian with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, said in a statement.

Diet-related conditions worsen COVID-19 cases, and children experiencing the effects of unhealthy eating that used to be reserved for adults, such as 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.

“Children in California need the nutritious plant-based meals that this legislation will provide,” concluded 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 a New York bill that would also give every student in New York public schools options for healthy plant-based meals.

The Physicians Committee has plant-based recipes and other resources for students, parents, and schools at HealthySchoolLunches.org.

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