Connecting Over Food: Breakfast After the Bell & Other Tools for Reducing Chronic Absenteeism

Educators and school nutrition professionals know that addressing students’ basic needs is a precursor to students’ learning and improves attendance.

Join us for a webinar discussing how serving Breakfast After the Bell (BAB) at school is a proven strategy to reduce chronic absenteeism. Our speakers shared research showing chronic absence has nearly doubled in the aftermath of the pandemic, examined key factors contributing to the current attendance crisis, and then discussed how it can be addressed through a comprehensive approach that includes school breakfast. We presented evidence that providing BAB can address stigmas, encourage student participation, and improve student outcomes.1

Attendees heard how relationship building is critical for improving attendance and student engagement and how serving breakfast can contribute to relationships between students and adults at school while helping to create a welcoming, positive climate for students, families, and school staff.

Since the onset of COVID-19, chronic absence has nearly doubled from 8 million to 14.7 million in 2021-22, meaning nearly 30% of all students were missing so many days of school that they were academically at risk. Available data from 2022-23 reveals chronic absence rates have slightly decreased but remain elevated.2


  1. No Kid Hungry (2023). A study on chronic absenteeism and breakfast after the bell. Retrieved from
  2. Attendance Works (2023). Updated national analysis of chronic absence.