2019 Breakfast After the Bell Legislation: Building a Better Tomorrow
Breakfast After the Bell legislation update: The Minnesota House has included Breakfast After the Bell in the House Education Omnibus Bill, but the Senate did not include it in their Education Omnibus Bill. We can still make Breakfast After the Bell happen. Now we need your help to encourage the Senate Conference Committee to include the House’s version of Breakfast After the Bell legislation into their budget bills.
Second Harvest Heartland’s child hunger initiative—led by major public and private partners, and local communities—is designed to ensure healthy child development through reliable access to nutritious food. This effort levels the playing field for all Minnesota’s children, building a healthy, prosperous future for our state.
This work includes, among other components, efforts to encourage state policy initiatives designed to strengthen access to school breakfast for all children across Minnesota.
Healthy child development is the foundation for community and economic development and the basis of our future prosperity as a state. Ensuring all children have the healthy food they need, regardless of where they live or their family circumstances, reflects an important investment in our shared future.
The truth is that more than one out of every 8 Minnesota students comes to school from a household that does not always have enough money to buy needed food—causing children to experience persistent, chronic physical and mental stress, activating their stress response systems, disrupting their brain development, and affecting other organs. It also increases the risk for stress-related disease and cognitive impairment over a child’s lifetime.
Part of the way we can work to create a healthy future for the next generation is through increasing availability of free school breakfast for Minnesota’s learners.
- On average, children who eat breakfast have higher nutrient intakes than children who do not eat breakfast
- Children who eat breakfast on a daily basis are less likely to become overweight
- Data shows that eating school breakfast prevents weight gain
- Nationwide studies show that breakfast has a positive effect on test scores, grades, school attendance and tardiness rates
- For students in greater Minnesota, reducing barriers to school breakfasts is an important way of fostering healthy cognitive and physical development
What Does the Legislation Include?
Minnesota's public and community initiatives supporting children’s health, such as school breakfast, serve more than 300,000 children each year. Because the current structure of the school breakfast program limits participation, not all students are able to benefit from this important resource. We can continue to innovate through the Breakfast After the Bell program to address this issue.
The proposed legislation includes:
- Incentives such as meal reimbursements for school districts to either establish or expand new or existing Breakfast After the Bell programs
- Support to target areas of the state where school breakfast programs can go further and reach all children in a district
- Adoption and/or expansion of Breakfast After the Bell best practices as part of new and existing programs, including Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab and Go, and Second Chance Breakfast
Thank you to Representative Heather Edelson and Senator Paul Anderson for authoring the Breakfast After the Bell bill.
You can help ensure that Minnesota kids have nourishment they need to thrive. Find out what you can do below!
Supporters of hunger-relief work:
Now is the time to make school breakfast legislation happen! We need your help to encourage the Senate Conference Committee to include the House’s version of Breakfast After the Bell legislation into their budget bills.
Support Minnesota students by ensuring funding for Breakfast After the Bell is included in the report from the education omnibus conference committee. Contact Second Harvest Heartland legislative advocacy representative Rebecca Mino for more information.
Encourage school leaders to pursue Breakfast After the Bell programs in your area schools. Contact Second Harvest Heartland child hunger representative Leah Baack for more information on our initiatives to support this effort.
The child hunger initiative partners include Second Harvest Heartland, Boston Consulting Group, Cargill, Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Education Minnesota, General Mills, Hunger Solutions, Minnesota Milk Producers, Minnesota School Nutrition Association, Share Our Strength, The Sheridan Story and Youthprise.