After spending more than three years building the Rise and Shine Massachusetts coalition, made up of schools, legislators and other supporters, and shepherding a bill from creation to legislation, The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) saw the fruits of our labor this summer when “An Act Regarding Breakfast After the Bell” was signed into law.
Breakfast After the Bell calls on low-income schools across the state to offer breakfast for students after the start of the school day—increasing access to breakfast for 150,000 low-income children in Massachusetts.
“I have seen the success of breakfast after the bell in my own community, and I am confident that this policy will help to ensure that every child in the Commonwealth has access to a stigma-free and nutritious breakfast,” Sen. Sal DiDomenico (D-Everett), who sponsored the bill in the state Senate.
Studies show that access to breakfast improves academic performance and reduces trips to the school nurse. Massachusetts is now one of only a handful of states that have passed this type of law, which will go into effect at the start of the 2021 school year.
“The excitement of passing this bill is a high point of my legislative work,” said Rep. Aaron Vega (D-Holyoke), who sponsored the bill in the state House of Representatives along with Rep. Andy Vargas (D-Haverhill). “With this final passage, we know our hard work and steadfast advocacy for children to simply get access to eat breakfast has paid off.”
Learn how you can be a part of GBFB’s hunger-relief advocacy work at GBFB.org/advocate.