On September 30th, 2010, Governor Schwarzenegger signed SB 1413 (Leno) creating a requirement for all schools in California to make free, fresh drinking water available to students during school meals. This new requirement recognizes that California has taken some good steps forward in getting rid of sugary drinks in schools. But, not as much has been done on promoting the healthy choices, namely water. Water is an essential nutrient and is calorie-free. Best of all, tap water is free! Unfortunately, a recent survey found that over 40 percent of responding schools reported to have no access to free water in cafeterias.

SB 1413 responds to this lack of access. With the requirement going into effect on July 1, 2011, schools and local advocates will need resources and tools to ensure compliance. This web-based toolkit, www.waterinschools.org, provides you with the information you need to promote water consumption in schools.

A report by California Food Policy Advocates highlights challenges with providing free, clean, and appealing tap water in schools as well as strategies to promote consumption.  Click here for a copy of the report.  Use the link above to learn about the importance of water, what’s currently required, and how to make things happen in your school.

Let us know what’s going on in your community’s school on water access/consumption.  Contact Kumar Chandran at kumar@cfpa.net, 510.433.1122 x129.


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