Massachusetts requires all high-need schools to offer breakfast before the bell to every eligible student, but participation rates are low. While 80% of students in high-need schools participate in the free or reduced National School Lunch Program, less than 40% eat school breakfast.
Sen. Sal DiDomenico (D-Everett) and Rep. Aaron Vega (D-Holyoke) are co-sponsoring legislation to mandate the federally-funded Breakfast After the Bell program statewide (HD.1046 and SD.1986). This legislation would require all public K-12 schools with 60% or more students eligible for free or reduced-price meals under the federal National School Lunch Program to offer breakfast after the instructional day begins.
The legislation allows schools to choose from several Breakfast After the Bell models:
Passage of the Breakfast After the Bell legislation is one of GBFB’s FY17 legislative priorities. Learn more in this April 1 Boston Herald article: Lawmakers lobbying for breakfast after the bell.
Providing students with breakfast after the instructional day begins boosts breakfast participation and ensures that all students are ready to learn every day.
Benefits of the program include improved academic achievement, improved student health, increased attendance rate and increased federal funding for high poverty schools.
One hundred Massachusetts schools have already implemented the Breakfast After the Bell model. In total, 600 schools and more than 260,000 children statewide could benefit from the program.
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