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Your gift will connect more low-income students to school breakfast!
Children & Schools

Project Bread reaches out to one of our most vulnerable populations with thoughtfully researched and "kid-approved" programs that provide children with healthy food in the places they learn and grow. We're committed to building good eating habits from the start, and helping them to achieve their full potential.

Donate Now
Your gift will connect more low-income students to school breakfast!

The Facts

For more than 232,000 children in Massachusetts, skipping a meal is not a choice: it is a very real part of their daily lives. Hungry children struggle to concentrate and learn. They are likely to have higher rates of absenteeism, get sick more frequently and recover more slowly. They are often at a disadvantage relative to their peers.

Kids count on summer meals

Last year, an average of 60,000 meals were served each day to kids across the state through the Summer Meals program.

Everything starts with school breakfast

Students who consistently start their day with a healthy meal had an average 17.5% increase in their standardized math scores over students who skip breakfast.

Children are among the most vulnerable to hunger

1 in 7 Massachusetts children is food insecure. This is approximately 187,290 children that don't reliably have enough food to eat.

Our Initiatives

Children at risk of hunger and food insecurity need consistent and predictable help they can rely on year-round. That is why Project Bread works to increase access and participation of low-income children in two key federal child nutrition programs —school breakfast and the summer meals program.

Believing that the opposite of hungry isn't just full, but healthy, our Chefs in Schools program works to not only improve the quality and nutritional value of school meals, it aims to empower and educate families and school kitchen staff to prepare nutritious and kid-tested meals on a school or limited family food budget.

School Breakfast

We work with school districts and partners across Massachusetts to ensure that every child starts the day with a healthy breakfast.


For nearly 20 years, Project Bread's Child Nutrition Outreach Program has partnered with the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to advocate for more than $2 million annually for Universal Free Breakfast programs in the poorest elementary schools—a non-stigmatizing way to help kids access the nutrients and calories they need to learn and grow. As Share Our Strength’s 2013 No Kid Hungry Ally in Massachusetts, we also bring together chefs and school food experts to create menus for healthier breakfasts that are served in the classroom.

The best way to increase breakfast participation is by making a breakfast model change that incorporates breakfast into the school day, such as Breakfast in the Classroom (BIC). To help make moving breakfast out of the cafeteria easier, Project Bread created a two-week cycle menu featuring very healthy and affordable options for both traditional and alternative breakfast models. Click here to download your copy of Let’s Prepare Healthy School Breakfast! 

Studies show that children who eat a good breakfast every day learn better.
Summer Food Service Program

With the help of our community partners and policy makers, we promote the Summer Food Service Program to ensure no child is left behind when school is out.


For most kids, summer is a time to relax. But for children who rely on school meals, summer can feel like an endless struggle. With the help of our community partners and policy makers, we promote the Summer Food Service Program to help ensure that no child is hungry when school is out.

In 2013, over 50,000 students in Massachusetts enjoyed healthy meals at one of nearly 900 sites. And summer meal programs do more than just provide children with a healthy meal. They are also paired with enriching activities that keep kids active and safe: physical activity, arts, and educational lessons—giving them the boost in health and energy and the leg up they need as before returning to school in September.

Project Bread provides nearly $100,000 in annual grants to support these programs statewide thanks to funding from Our Family Foundation, Partners HealthCare and Share Our Strength.

The best summer meal programs combine a healthy meal with activities such as physical activity, arts, and educational lessons.
Chefs in Schools

Our Chefs in Schools program helps school kitchen staff and parents learn to prepare healthy meals that children will eat.


Chefs in Schools began as a pilot project in three Boston public schools: we brought chefs into cafeteria kitchens to work with staff to create healthier meals—on a public school budget—that children would find tasty and visually appealing. It worked. We’ve since expanded to Chelsea, Lawrence, and Salem with leadership support from the Arbella Insurance Foundation and additional support from the Trefler Foundation and the Jessie B. Cox CLT - Cox Family Fund. And we partner with Harvard School of Public Health to measure the ongoing efficacy of this important program. Read the published results of the successful intervention in Boston.

Our Chefs in Schools program engages kids with delicious and healthy lunches.
School Meals Cookbook

Let’s Cook Healthy School Meals offers 100 tasty recipes that meet the new USDA school meal requirements and fall within the public reimbursement rate.


Let's Cook Healthy School Meals is a first-of-its-kind tool to help school administrators and kitchen plan and prepare healthy meals for students that they will want to eat. It meets the new 2012 USDA school meal requirements—and offers 100 recipes that have been kid-tested in cafeteria kitchens.

In partnership with Chef Didi Emmons and the Chefs in Schools Program, Project Bread solicited recipes from school food professionals across Massachusetts, then tested and refined them to compile this valuable resource.

Download your copy of Let's Cook Healthy School Meals Cookbook.

Our school cookbook has 100 recipes meant to tempt children into eating their vegetables.
Chefs in Head Start

Chefs in Head Start introduces healthy foods to Head Start students.


Chefs in Head Start reaches some of Massachusetts’ youngest residents—toddlers and pre-K children—and their families. The program introduces healthy foods to Head Start students through hands-on activities, stories, and tastings; teaches parents how to make familiar foods healthier on a limited budget; and trains kitchen staff how to make healthier and tastier food.  With support from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Project Bread has served over 600 children and families in Lynn, Oxford, Southbridge and Spencer.

Chef Vanessa’s fun, educational lessons with children introduce them to healthy foods and eating habits.

Making a Difference

Through diverse and strategic collaborations, we provide solutions in the places children go each day. We provide resources to help schools — and families — prepare nutritious, appealing food that kids truly want to eat. And together, we’re changing lives. 

Get Involved

Join us as we work to help children create good eating habits for a lifetime. We’re changing lives, with your support.