Calif. Ends School Lunch-Shaming by Guaranteeing All Students Will Get a Meal

By Rachel DeSantis

A 10-year-old boy’s fight to end student lunch debt and save his classmates the shame of being served an “alternative” meal at school has inspired real change in California.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation on Saturday to ban the practice of singling out students unable to pay for their lunch, and cited the efforts of elementary schooler Ryan Kyote in helping bring the issue to greater attention.

“I want to thank Ryan for his empathy and his courage in bringing awareness to this important issue,” Newsom said in a news release.

The new legislation, authored by state Sen. Robert Hertzberg, makes it so schools are no longer allowed to serve cheaper, “alternative” lunches to students whose parents are unable to pay.

It ensures that all students will get a “state reimburseal fees.

Kyote made headlines this summer after he donated $74.80 of his allowance savings to pay off the school lunch debt for his third-grade classmates at West Park Elementary School in Napa, California.

Read more here.

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