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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.

Sample State Legislation: Breakfast After the Bell- This resource provides the key considerations and sample language for crafting Breakfast After the Bell legislation in your state. 

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 

 

  • Hunger Free Colorado School Breakfast Legislation Lessons
  • Pending State Legislation

    State

    Year

    Category

    Status

    Summary

    Maine

    2017

    Requirement and Funding

    SP 254 was introduced on March 2nd, 2017.   

    Requires that breakfast be served after the bell in schools with at least 50% free and reduced price (FRP) eligibility in school year 2017-2018. Funding is provided to assist with breakfast after the bell implementation.

    Massachusetts

    2017

    Requirement

    H 327 was introduced on January 23rd, 2017.

    Requires that breakfast be served after the bell in schools with at least 60% free and reduced price (FRP) eligibility.

    Washington

    2017

    Requirement and Funding

    HB 1551 passed the House at the end of February 2017 and the Senate Early Learning & K-12 Education Committee at the end of March.

    Requires that breakfast be served after the bell in schools with at least 70% free and reduced price (FRP) eligibility in school year 2018-2019. Provides one-time start-up grants to assist with breakfast after the bell implementation.

    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.

    Delaware

    2016

    Mandate

    Requires all public and charter schools that participate in the Community Eligibility Provision to implement a breakfast after the bell model beginning in the 2017-2018 school year.

    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.

    Illinois

    2016

    Mandate

    Mandates that breakfast be served after the bell in schools with at least 70% free and reduced price (FRP) eligibility in school year 2017-2018.

    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.

    Maryland

    2015

     

    Community Eligibility Clarification

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

     

    Nevada

    2015

    Mandate and Funding

    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

    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.

    Virginia

    2015

    Funding

    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.

    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