On May 17, 2022, at 2 p.m., the Nutrition Services Division (NSD) is hosting the seventh listening session for the newly established California Universal Meals Program (Universal Meals) beginning in School Year 2022–23.
Universal Meals is designed to build on the foundations of the federal National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. There are three key pillars to help ensure greater access to school meals:
- California’s State Meal Mandate is expanded to include both a nutritiously adequate breakfast and lunch for all children each school day.
- California’s Universal Meals Program requires high poverty schools to participate in a federal provision.
- The California State Legislature allocates funds to provide additional state meal reimbursement to cover the cost of the Universal Meals Program.
Through the California Universal Meals Program public school districts, county offices of education, and charter schools will provide breakfast and lunch at no charge to students requesting a meal, regardless of their free or reduced-price meal eligibility during each school day.
The May listening session will focus on clarifying guidance and addressing common questions program operators have regarding the implementation of Universal Meals. Topics that will be addressed include:
- Universal Meals Program requirements
- Nonprogram food sales
- Competitive foods
- Paid lunch equity
- USDA Foods
In addition to guidance surrounding these topics, NSD staff will be joined by representatives from the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Nutrition Policy Institute who will share early results of surveys they have conducted with families and members of the school nutrition community.
If you have any questions or feedback prior to the Universal Meals Listening Session, please email UniversalMealsSY22@cde.ca.gov. Your feedback is helpful to inform the NSD of content for future listening sessions. A list of Frequently Asked Questions is available on the California Department of Education (CDE) California Universal Meals web page.
The target audience includes all state and local school nutrition professionals, superintendents, school business officials, and community partners involved in school meal service.
Universal Meals: Listening Session
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
Registration and Cost
This listening session is free. Please register in advance.
After registering, you will see a screen that says Webinar Registration Approved with a link to the webinar. You will also receive several emails with the information about joining the webinar. First, you will receive confirmation the day you register and then you will receive two reminder emails: one day and one hour prior to the webinar. If for some reason you cannot find the email confirmation or do not receive the reminders, you can always reregister.
Tip for Attendees
To save time before the meeting, check your system to make sure it is ready to use Zoom.
If for some reason you receive an error message that the host has declined your webinar registration, try using an alternate email address.
- Program Management (3200)
- Manage staff work including scheduling (3210)
Pursuant to state and federal statutes, individuals with a disability may request reasonable accommodation to attend or participate in the Universal Meals: Listening Session. Closed captions will be available via Zoom.
Universal Meals: Listening Session Webinar Recordings
The Listening Session Webinars are recorded and available for viewing on the CDE California Universal Meals web page. Please note that it may take up to six weeks from the date of the live Listening Session for the recording to be posted.
If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact Angela Blackney, Analyst, by phone at 916-445-5723 or by email at email@example.com.
Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Tuesday, May 3, 2022