A new California bill introduced this week by Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian will provide extra funding to schools that add or increase the number of vegan entrées and plant-based milks on their menus. Under AB 479, the Healthy, Climate-Friendly School Lunch Act aims to fight climate change and improve students’ health by incentivizing schools to serve more plant-based meals. The bill—which was co-sponsored by advocacy groups Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Animal Hope in Legislation, Friends of the Earth, and Social Compassion in Legislation—will also offer support for staff training, student engagement, recipe development, and other technical assistance needed to increase participation rates. “AB 479 will increase access to healthy food options for low-income communities and reduce our carbon footprint at the same time,” Assemblymember Nazarian said. Many school districts across the state, including Novato, San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and San Diego, recently added more plant-based entrées to reduce their carbon footprints.

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