After a three-year campaign, we’ve finally achieved our goal: students at-risk of hunger in Massachusetts will have access to Breakfast After the Bell! In August, Governor Charlie Baker signed legislation into law to alleviate childhood hunger and ensure more kids start school with a healthy breakfast, making Massachusetts the 13th state in the nation to pass such a law. An Act regarding breakfast after the bell will require all high-poverty K-12 Massachusetts public schools to offer breakfast after the instructional day begins.
Rise and Shine Massachusetts, a statewide coalition led by The Greater Boston Food Bank, and comprised of over fifty state and national school and organizations, was instrumental in advocating for the bill since it was originally introduced in 2017.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was estimated that expanding the window for school breakfast would increase access and decrease food insecurity for approximately 150,000 children across the Commonwealth. With an estimated 81% increase in food insecurity among children due to COVID-19, more children are likely to qualify for the school breakfast program and will benefit from this bill.
Earlier this month, The Rise and Shine Massachusetts coalition and all those who supported the campaign came together to virtually celebrate this achievement. Due to all our collective efforts, thousands of kids across the state will start their school days fed and ready to learn.