10 California Champions Working to Make No Kid Hungry a Reality

As the decade is quickly coming to a close, let’s take a minute to take a look in the rear-view mirror and celebrate some big wins here in California. 

No Kid Hungry California has made serious progress in connecting kids with the nutritious meals they need to succeed – but we haven’t done it alone. 

As is so often the case, this big progress is the result of thousands of little actions taken by champions all across the state who believe investing in our next generation starts with making sure our kids are well fed.

Get that confetti ready and join us in giving a big round of applause to ten champions of 2019 and the accomplishments they’ve made possible:

  1. Michelle Quirce, Food and Nutrition Services Director for Eastside Union School District

    Michelle is incredibly innovative and doesn’t let anything get in her way when it comes to making sure every kid in her district is fed. As a new FNS director, she started Breakfast in the Classroom in her elementary school and Grab and Go at the Middle School, and the district began serving summer meals for the very first time. In fact she was so set on having a good turnout for the summer kickoff event that she hit the streets herself, knocking doors in 100 degree weather. And it worked – 1,000 attendees showed up and more than 700 meals were served.
    eastside union

    More than 1,000 showed up for Eastside Union's kickoff event this summer, the first time the district has offered summer meals.

  2. Stephen & Ayesha Curry, the official National Spokesfamily of No Kid Hungry

    Just this month we announced that the Currys have taken on the role of National Spokesfamily for No Kid Hungry, but Stephen and Ayesha have long been committed to making sure kids in their hometown of Oakland have enough to eat. Earlier this year, the dynamic duo joined No Kid Hungry California on a visit to Martin Luther King Elementary School where they read to the kiddos and saw breakfast after the bell in action. [Read more.] 

    Stephen & Ayesha Curry have long been committed to making sure kids in their hometown of Oakland have enough to eat.

  3. Juan Carlos Luna Vargas, 5th grade teacher at Hughbanks Elementary School

    We were incredibly proud when Kristen Bell selected Juan Carlos Luna Vargas as one of her #FeaturedTeacherFriday honorees – but we can’t say we were surprised! Juan knows his students – 84% of whom qualify for free or reduced price meals – can’t learn if they’re hungry. That’s why he’s been a huge proponent of Breakfast in the Classroom, encouraging every elementary school to give it a try. Read more.  

    Juan Carlos Luna Vargas as Kristen Bell's FeaturedTeacherFriday

  4. Jennifer Faria, Summer Food Service Manager, Paradise Unified School District

    The families of Paradise Unified School District were hard hit by last year’s devastating Camp Fire, making the summer meals program more important than ever. No Kid Hungry helped replace the mobile delivery vehicles that were lost in the fire, but staffing the program presented a challenge, as many had moved post-fire. Jennifer Faria knew the summer meals program was the only way kids in Paradise would have access to food, and stepped up to stay and manage the summer meals program - despite facing her own personal losses in the fires. 
    Paradise Food Truck

    The Paradise food truck made sure kids had healthy meals following the devastating Camp Fire. 

  5. The California State Legislature

    When the California State Legislature passed the FY19-20 budget in June, they included $500,000 to reinstate the CA Department of Education’s Breakfast After the Bell grants for school districts. This renewed commitment will help continue the significant progress California has made in connecting more students with school breakfast – a big win for kids! 

  6. Chefs Travis Flood, Tanya Holland and Valerie Gordon

    On that note, we’d be remiss not to mention three culinary champions who traveled to the state capitol in Sacramento in April to talk with lawmakers about the importance of Breakfast After the Bell – and of including this critical funding in the FY19-20 budget! [Read More
    Sacramento Lobby Day

    Chefs Travis Flood, Tanya Holland and Valerie Gordon in Sacramento to meet with legislators.

  7. The Natomas Unified School District

    When No Kid Hungry California awarded Natomas Unified School District a grant to purchase a mobile food truck, we knew they’d do big things. Sure enough, the truck made summer meals possible at libraries, community pools, schools and apartment complexes across the region – providing free visual and dental exams alongside healthy meals. And the food truck, which recently appeared on Good Day Sacramento, didn’t slow down when summer ended: outside of summer, it’s used to promote healthy breakfast, lunch and afterschool suppers. [Read More
    Natomas Food Truck

    Natomas Unified School District's food truck, known as "The Lunch Box," feeds kids all year round. 

  8. Principal Frank Camacho and the teachers, staff and students of Eisenhower High School

    This year, Eisenhower High School was the first high school in the Inland Empire to implement Breakfast in the Classroom. But Principal Camacho says it’s not about being first, it’s about doing right by his students. They’re doing just that, because program has already been hugely successful: Before Breakfast in the Classroom, just 430 students were eating breakfast each day – since the new program launched, that number has skyrocketed to 2,000! [Read more

    Eisenhower High School launches Breakfast in the Classroom

  9. Marcella Portillo-Zamudio, Principal of Valley View Elementary School in Coachella

    Principal Portillo-Zamudio understands the importance of her students starting each day with a nutritious breakfast. Since Valley View Elementary began serving Second Chance Breakfast on the playground in May, breakfast participation among the school's 674 students increased dramatically, from 22% to 89%! [Read More]  
    Marcella Portillo-Zamudio

    Participation skyrocketed with Principal Portillo-Zamudio started serving second chance breakfast on the playground

  10. Dr. Monte Stewart, Principal of Hughbanks Elementary School in Rialto

    Hughbanks Elementary School principal Dr. Monte Stewart was an early adopter of serving breakfast in the classroom, energizing his students to take on the day. And when he approaches breakfast after the bell, it’s always with his students in mind. That’s why No Kid Hungry recognized Dr. Stewart as one of five national Breakfast Heroes last March. “Everything he does goes back to supporting his number one stakeholder: his students,” says Daisy Munguia with No Kid Hungry California. Read More
    Monte Stewart

    Dr. Monte Stewart was a 2019 No Kid Hungry Breakfast Hero