Less than half of low-income children eat school breakfast, but breakfast after the bell can help increase access and participation to 150,000 children in MA!
What is Breakfast After the Bell?
In traditional ‘Before the Bell’ programs, breakfast is served before the school day officially begins with students arriving early to eat breakfast in the cafeteria. Participation in traditional breakfast is often as low as 10% due to logistical and societal barriers.
Serving Breakfast After the Bell, through a model such as Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab & Go, or Second Chance Breakfast, can increase participation up to 80% or more. Breakfast After the Bell also:
What is being proposed?
An Act Regarding Breakfast After the Bell (S.267/H.591) would expand access to school breakfast by requiring high-poverty schools (roughly 700 schools with 60 percent or more students who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals) to serve breakfast after the bell. This would increase access to school breakfast for approximately 150,000 children in the Commonwealth.
What is happening now?
The Massachusetts Senate proposed budget Fiscal Year 2020 budget includes language to continue a version of this requirement that was included in the FY 2019 budget with the added provision that Department of Elementary and Secondary Education reports on the status of implementation. While several schools have begun the process of implementation due to this budget language, we believe legislation provides the most sustainable approach to achieving higher school breakfast participation.
On June 3rd, the Joint Committee on Education heard S.267 and H.591. The next step is for the committee to report on the bill during executive session in the coming weeks. We expect them to report it out favorably, but still need supporters to contact their state legislators to ensure this outcome. Once reported, the bill will begin to be considered by each chamber (the Senate and House) separately.
What can I do?