Healthier School Food and Beverages


California schools serve 810 million meals a year, each one a chance to keep kids healthy and help students focus in class. Hungry kids can't learn, and that's why The California Endowment supports strong nutrition standards for school meals and school snacks. As a matter of principle, we don't believe schools should ever serve or sell junk foods or junk drinks to children in their care.


Drinks are an important and often overlooked part of school health. Water is always a healthier choice than sugary drinks, which can contribute to childhood obesity and other serious diseases. Unfortunately, drinking fountains are often broken or located far from school cafeterias and other eating areas. The California Endowment believes that schools should always provide students with access to safe, free tap water.

What We’re Doing

  • Supporting school food service directors to make sure they have the training and equipment they need to provide healthy and appealing school meals.
  • Helping schools put into practice new federal snack and drink standards for the 2014-2015 school year.
  • Promoting innovative ideas for making water available in schools, such as installing modern water stations.
  • Educating students about the risks of junk drinks.

Learn about our other Schools Key Issues: All Aboard the School Success Express, Exercise During the School Day, and Social-Emotional Health for Students

News for Schools

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Sac Kings Healthy Meals Video

Salad Bars Score in Schools 

Watch health happening through partnerships—in the form of 84 salad bars stocked by local farms—in Sacramento schools.

Your zip code shouldn't determine how long you live, but it does. Health Happens Here challenges us to think about health beyond doctor visits and diets. We have the power to make health happen where we live, learn and play.