Call to Action for AB 1648 and Big News for Plant-based in Schools
CALL TO ACTION FOR AB 1648!
The fate of AB 1648, the Animal Evacuation Act, will be decided by the Senate Appropriations Chair and Pro Tem.
That is why they need to hear from you!
Please make calls to the two Senators below and urge them to:
“Please support and move both AB 1648 to the Senate floor.”
Senator Anthony Portantino: 916-651-4025
Senator Toni Atkins: 916-651-4039
HUGE WIN! FUNDS FOR PLANT-BASED MEALS INCLUDED IN THE 2022-23 STATE BUDGET!
As previously reported on our social media channels, we are thrilled to announce that the 2022-23 state budget includes funds for plant-based meals in schools. Since 2019, Social Compassion in Legislation and cosponsors, Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine, Friends of the Earth, and Factory Farm Awareness Coalition teamed up with bill author and champion, Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian (D-Los Angeles), to advocate for the creation of a state administered voluntary grant program via AB 558 that would assist schools in serving more plant-based meals and milks.
Due to the fact that the language of AB 558 was included in the budget bill, AB 181, and signed into law by the Governor, AB 558 will no longer be required to move forward in its current form. AB 558 will have the plant-based language amended out, but again, please do not be alarmed. The language is in AB 181, a major victory for our kids, our planet, and the animals!
Through this advocacy, and with a specific request from Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian, the legislature and Governor agreed to include six hundred million dollars to be allocated in grant blocks of $100,000 to school districts to upgrade facilities and staff training to expand plant-based meal offerings, among other goals such as freshly prepared meals and sourcing locally grown ingredients.
An additional one hundred million dollars was also allocated in the budget for school districts “to expend on implementing any of the following school food best practices:
(A) Procuring California-grown or produced, sustainably grown, whole or minimally processed foods to support equity in the procurement practices of local educational agencies.
(B) Using California-grown, whole or minimally processed foods in plant-based or restricted diet meals for pupils.
(C) Procuring plant-based or restricted diet meals for pupils in the procurement practices of local educational agencies.
(D) Freshly preparing meals onsite.
This second allocation of $100,000,000 will be used to reimburse schools based on the number of plant-based meals and milks served ensuring that there is incentive for schools to follow through with actually serving plant-based food.
Funds will be allocated by the Department of Education. The Department’s application criteria shall consider supporting local economies, environmental sustainability, animal welfare, and fair labor practices, and may be demonstrated through certifications or other recognitions as appropriate.
The specific budget language can be read in AB 181. The document is very long – we suggest searching the document for “plant” to quickly find the relevant sections.
“We cannot thank Governor Newsom enough for this inclusion of this enormous and landmark budget allocation for plant-based meals and milks,” said Judie Mancuso, founder and president of Social Compassion in Legislation. “Social Compassion in Legislation is proud to be a part of this historic moment for California children and the plant-based food movement. This budget allocation will help our kids be healthier today, and meet the growing demand from families wanting smarter, sustainable choices in their diets and day to day lives.”
The demand for more plant-based food offerings was reflected by the California PTA when it passed a resolution earlier this year empowering their local chapters to advocate for more plant-based meals.
We cannot thank you all enough for the action you take for the animals! Please consider making a donation to help us continue our work.
Judie Mancuso, founder/CEO/president
Social Compassion in Legislation