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Our Mission


The California Summer Meal Coalition is a statewide network united to combat hunger and obesity by helping California’s children in need access free, healthy meals through the USDA’s summer nutrition programs. Learn more about the need for summer meals here.

The Coalition was launched in 2009 by the Public Health Institute, through the California Center for Research on Women and Families, in partnership with summer leaders throughout the state, including the California Department of Education’s Nutrition Services Division, in response to the need for a better understanding of the underutilization of summer meal programs in the state. In 2014, the California Summer Meal Coalition became a program of the Institute Local Government (ILG) to further advance the intergovernmental and community collaborations generated by summer meal programs.

The Institute for Local Government, the education and research affiliate of the League of California Cities, the California State Association of Counties and the California Special Districts Association, promotes good government at the local level with practical, impartial and easy-to-use resources for California communities.


Our Goals:

The California Summer Meal Coalition strives to:

  • Increase access to summer meals by ensuring an adequate number of summer meal providers in California and promoting the availability of these programs.

  • Support summer meal providers in offering high-quality programs that leverage existing community resources, generate partnerships, and incorporate best practices.

  • Build capacity among local and state leaders to support summer meal programs and opportunities to enhance year-round community health and wellness.

The work of the California Summer Meal Coalition is made possible through the generous support of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the California Endowment, Food Research and Action Center, and the National League of Cities.

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