Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

Food Literacy Awareness Month September 2021

September is Food Literacy Awareness Month. Its purpose is to highlight the impact our food choices have on our health, the environment, and the economy and to raise awareness of the fact that these impacts are not experienced equitably.

Recent events related to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) have highlighted the role that nutrition and food literacy play in the academic success and physical and emotional wellbeing of students and families. School districts, Child Nutrition Program (CNP) Operators, community nutrition educators, health advocates, and charitable food organizations joined forces to ensure all students had the option to choose a nutritious meal.

We ask that you join us in September in building on our collective successes in providing nourishing school meals and nutrition education, by promoting Food Literacy Awareness Month. Your support will help empower communities across California to make healthful food choices for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Take Action
  • Add Food Literacy Awareness Month to your school newsletter by featuring school nutrition staff, locally grown menu items, school gardens, and nutrition education activities.

  • Promote it on your social media accounts and school web pages.
How the CDE has Supported Food Literacy Awareness Over the Years

Food literacy is our priority too. For a number of years, the California Department of Education’s (CDE) Nutrition Services Division has supported food literacy awareness. Here are a few of our more recent activities:

  • 2021—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond supported Universal School Meals in Governor Gavin Newsom’s 2021–22 State Budget for Education.

  • 2020—The U.S. Department of Agriculture Team Nutrition awarded $300,000 to the CDE to fund school districts to develop standardized recipes using locally grown products and to provide nutrition education.

  • 2020—The CDE partnered with No Kid Hungry to host the Child Nutrition Access Institute which brought together the nutrition and food system partners to address food insecurity and promote CNPs.

  • 2018—The CDE launched the first California (CA) Farm to Summer Challenge week to encourage CNPs to participate in Farm to Summer activities.

Additional information is available on the CDE Nutrition Education in CA Schools web page.

For more food literacy and nutrition education resources visit the CDE CNPs Resource Library web page.

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact the CDE Education and Nutrition Policy Unit by email at

Questions:   Nutrition Services Division | 800-952-5609
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, August 4, 2021
Related Content
  • Child Nutrition Programs Resource Library
    A library of online resources for program operators participating in the Child Nutrition Programs.
  • Food Pantries in Schools
    Food pantries in schools provide children facing food insecurity with easy access to nutritious food. This web page provides information regarding the benefits, operations, policies, resources, and trainings related to school food pantry programs.
  • Local School Wellness Policy
    Information regarding the 2016 Local School Wellness Policy (LSWP) requirements, background, compliance, training, resources, and policy guidance, for Local Educational Agencies (LEA).
  • Nutrition Education in California Schools
    Provides benefits of nutrition education, best practices, funding options, state and federal policy, resources, trainings, and contact information for Health and Nutrition Educators in California schools.
Recently Posted in Nutrition
  • Reimbursement Rates for School Nutrition Programs (added 24-Sep-2021)
    Reimbursement Rates for School Nutrition Programs, and Food Distribution Program for School Year 2021–22.
  • Request for Information: Buy American (added 24-Sep-2021)
    Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) published the “Request for Information: Buy American in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program” to gather feedback from stakeholders on challenges to the Buy American requirements.
  • SP 21-2021: Q&A for CNP Reporting in SY 21-22 (added 24-Sep-2021)
    Questions and Answers about Child Nutrition Administrative Reporting Requirements in School Year 2021-22.
  • COVID-19: Child Nutrition Response 99 (added 22-Sep-2021)
    On September 15, 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released COVID-19 Child Nutrition Response #99: Nationwide Waiver of the Annual Half Aggregate Monitoring Requirement in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).
  • Universal Meals Program Question and Answers (added 22-Sep-2021)
    Frequently asked questions to support the implementation of the California Universal Meals Program.