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School Breakfast

School Breakfast Program Policy

Policy change is an important tool for achieving sustainable, widespread change and school breakfast program policy is an area ripe for advocacy.  Through state legislation or district policy, states and localities have taken steps to increase participation in school breakfast, including:

  • Requiring innovative breakfast program models, such as breakfast in the classroom.
  • Providing universally-free breakfast.
  • Providing funding for start-up/expansion costs related to changing breakfast models.
  • Providing an additional per-meal reimbursement.
  • Requiring schools to offer breakfast.
  • Eliminating the reduced-price category.

 

Resources on School Breakfast Policy

Breakfast After The Bell Policy Solutions-This brochure highlights the key school breakfast policies and legislation and their impact.

Effective Policies for Increasing Participation in School Breakfast Programs - This policy brief provides a background on the various policy options to consider related to school breakfast as well as examples of successful school breakfast policy enacted in New Mexico and Washington DC.

Case Studies 

 

Pending State Legislation 

State

Year

Category

Status

Summary

California

2015

Mandate

Legislation introduced March 2015

Mandates that breakfast be served before and after the bell in schools with at least 60% free and reduced price (FRP) eligibility and requires that breakfast be served universally free in schools with at least 80% FRP eligibility. Additional details of the bill can be found on the California Food Policy Advocates’ website.

Maryland

2015

Community Eligibility

Clarification

Legislation introduced February 2015.

 

Eases implementation of the Community Eligibility Provision in Maryland schools by altering the enrollment counting procedures for state educational funding.

Maine

2015

Community Eligibility

Legislation Introduced

Establishes a working group to explore the opportunities and challenges of the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), study best practices for schools, address barriers to the use of CEP, and issue a report that reviews the options for reconciling any conflicts between CEP and any other types of funding and makes specific recommendations for addressing these challenges.

Nevada

2014

Mandate and Funding

Introduced Budget Item

Mandates Breakfast After the Bell in schools with at least 70% free and reduced price eligibility. Provides $2 million over two years in the form of start-up grants to assist with the implementation of Breakfast After the Bell.

New Jersey

2015

Mandate

Passed First Assembly Committee in March 2014.

Requires schools with 40% or more low-income students to establish a Breakfast After the Bell program.

New Jersey

2015

Pilot

Passed First Committee in January 2015.

Establishes a two-year school breakfast kiosk pilot program to provide students with access to school breakfast items from a cart, cubicle or kiosk.

Virginia

2015

Funding

Passed by the General Assembly in February 2015.

Governor McAuliffe’s Breakfast Amendment in the 2015-2016 budget includes a $537,000 ‘Breakfast after the Bell’ (BAB) Amendment that will provide schools with an additional $0.05 per breakfast served when using alternative breakfast models.

Washington

2015

Mandate and Funding

The House passed its version of the bill on March 4th. The Senate version passed the first committee in February 2015.

Requires schools with at least 70% or more students eligible for free or reduced-price meals in the prior school year (or a claiming percentage of 70% for CEP schools) to offer breakfast after the bell. Provides funding for one-time start-up grants of up to six thousand dollars to support any costs associated with launching a breakfast after the bell program.


Passed State Legislation 

State

Year

Category

Summary

Arkansas

2013

Pilot and Funding

Authorizes the two-year pilot program, Arkansas Meals for Achievement, and provides $490,000 in State funding to provide grants to schools to implement alternative breakfast models.

Colorado

2013

Mandate

Requires Colorado schools with 80% or more students qualifying for free or reduced-price meals to offer a nutritious after the bell breakfast to all students at no cost, access beginning in the 2014-15 school year. In the 2015-16 school year, schools with 70% or more qualifying students would have to comply. Schools that meet the CO Department of Education's definition of "small, rural school district" (1,000 students or less) will be exempt. Additional information can be found on Hunger Free Colorado’s website.

District of Columbia

2010

Mandate and Funding

Requires that elementary schools with over 40% of students qualifying for free or reduced-price meals serve Breakfast in the Classroom while middle or high schools that meet this threshold must offer any innovative breakfast service model, such as Breakfast in the Classroom or Grab N’ Go. The bill also removes the reduced-price co-payment. Additionally, the bill authorizes almost $4 million in annual funding to schools to implement the requirements of the legislation. In the 2010-11 school year, the bill provided $7 per student to schools for costs associated with starting an innovative school breakfast service model. Additional information can be found here.

Illinois

2014

Recommendation

Encourages schools to utilize alternative delivery models, such as Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab n’ Go, and Second Chance Breakfast, to provide breakfast after the bell to all students at no cost.

Maryland

2014

Funding

In April 2014, the Maryland Legislature approved the state budget including Governor O'Malley's proposal to increase the budget for Maryland Meals for Achievement by $1.7m for the 2015 fiscal year. This additional funding will enable an estimated 40,000 more students to start their day ready to learn.

New Jersey

2014

Recommendation

Promotes the adoption of alternative breakfast models, such as breakfast in the classroom, and requires the state to track breakfast participation at the school level as well as the manner in which breakfast is served.

New Mexico

2014

Mandate

Builds on previous Breakfast After the Bell legislation by expanding the requirement from elementary schools to all K-12 schools that have at least 85% of their students eligible for free or reduced-price meals.

Texas

2013

Mandate

Requires schools to offer a free breakfast to all students if the school has 80% or more of its students who qualify for free or reduced-price meals. The bill allows schools to request a waiver for one year after a public hearing and only if approved by a vote of the governing body of the school.

West Virginia

2013

Mandate

Increases school breakfast program participation by expanding innovative breakfast delivery models and creating local sources of funding for child nutrition programs.

Supporting school breakfast initiatives