California governor signs measure banning ‘lunch shaming’

(Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

California’s governor has signed into law a bill that guarantees all students a state-funded meal of their choice, even if their parent or guardian has unpaid meal fees.

The measure bans the practice of “lunch shaming,” in which students who owe the school money for meals are denied food or given a cheaper alternative meal.

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Under the new law, a school can no longer give a student a cheaper alternative meal.

In a statement Saturday, Gov. Gavin Newsom thanked Ryan Kyote, a third-grader at an elementary school in Napa County who brought national attention to the practice earlier this year by paying for all the food service bills of his fellow students at the school.

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