By SSC’s Kathleen Spencer
Q: How much will local educational agencies (LEAs) receive for school kitchen infrastructure upgrades as part of the Governor’s May Revision proposal?
A: In total, $100 million in one-time funding is proposed to provide school kitchen infrastructure upgrades and training for school cafeteria staff. Of that $100 million, $80 million is dedicated for school kitchen infrastructure upgrades to increase student access to school meals or improve the quality of the meals.
- All LEAs will receive a base allocation of $25,000 per LEA
- After the base allocations are made, the remaining funds will be provided to LEAs with at least 50% of students eligible for free or reduced-price meals
- The funds shall be provided proportionally based on an LEA’s total enrollment of students who are eligible for free and reduced-price meals
The funds can be used for cooking and service equipment, refrigeration and storage, transportation means for food and food products, and other allowed uses. The LEAs will be required to report to the California Department of Education (CDE) by June 30, 2022, how the funds were used to improve the quality of school meals or to increase participation in the meal program. The CDE will develop the reporting form.
The remaining $20 million will be provided to fund food service staff training on topics, including:
- Promoting nutritious foods, including food preparation
- Healthy food marketing
- Changing the school lunchroom environment
The funds will be allocated to the LEAs based on the number of classified school employees employed by the LEA in the prior year, and the LEAs will receive a minimum allocation of $2,000.