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November 20, 2019
A Big Win At the State House Today For Massachusetts Kids

An Act Regarding Breakfast After the Bell (S.267/H.4218) was reported out favorably by the House of Representatives!

Project Bread applauds the Massachusetts House of Representatives for unanimously passing An Act Regarding Breakfast After the Bell! We look forward to the Senate taking this up as quickly as possible so that no child in our state has to start the school day on an empty stomach. 

Study after study proves what we already know: hungry kids can’t learn. 1 in 9 Massachusetts children faces food insecurity. Passing this Breakfast After the Bell legislation would give as many as 150,000 additional students access to breakfast every school day. Because it is federally reimbursable, this program also stands to bring an estimated $25 million dollars into Massachusetts schools every year. 

We are grateful for the leadership of our legislative champions, especially bill sponsors Representative Aaron Vega, Representative Andy Vargas, and Senator Sal DiDomenico. We also would like to thank the House Chair of the Joint Committee on Education, Representative Alice Peisch, and Speaker Robert DeLeo. 

“Breakfast participation doubled, from 42 to 85%, in one Haverhill school after it implemented Breakfast After the Bell," stated Representative Vargas on the difference the program makes in making school breakfast accessible to students who need it. "This program produces results that close achievement and opportunity gaps. Kids who consistently eat breakfast see improvements in academic scores, improved physical and mental health, better school attendance, higher graduation rates, and even better earning potential as adults. This legislation is a no brainer. It is the best thing we can do for our students.”

Elated the House voted today in favor of this urgently needed legislation, Representative Vega remarked, "We expect kids to come to school ready to learn, but if they haven't eaten, they are focused on their hunger, not their studies. Breakfast After the Bell legislation will ensure as many as 150,000 low-income students across the state start their day with breakfast, while tapping into an estimated $25 million in USDA reimbursements every year. It's a win-win."

Project Bread has been increasing access to and participation in school meal programs for low-income students for nearly 25 years in Massachusetts. We stand ready to support our districts and schools every step of the way to implement this critical program. 

We, along with our partners from the Rise & Shine Coalition, look forward to seeing the Senate take up An Act Regarding Breakfast After the Bell as soon as the legislative session resumes in January. 

Want to help?

  • Join the Project Bread Action Team so we can update you on "Breakfast After the Bell" and our other policy priorities and be called to action when your voice is needed! 

Filed under: Informing Public Policy