Forging Fresh Ways to Serve Breakfast
Everyone agrees that children need to start their school day with a full stomach. After years of being nearly last in the nation for its participation in the federal School Breakfast Program, New Jersey is showing strong improvements. The state recently moved to 37th nationally, compared to its previous ranking of 46th for student participation in this critical child nutrition program.
This progress is due to the fact that a growing number of New Jersey districts have switched to serving "breakfast after the bell," rather than before school, when most students have not yet arrived. This approach, typically done in the classroom during the first few minutes of the school day, significantly boosts participation, giving more kids the nutritious start to the school day that can help them concentrate and learn.
Since the program is federally funded, most districts with high concentrations of low-income children can feed all students at little or no extra cost, significantly leveraging the considerable investment New Jersey makes in public education.
Learn more with this short school breakfast fact sheet.
View school breakfast fact sheet in Spanish.
The New Jersey Food for Thought Campaign has been working for more than two years to encourage more schools to serve breakfast after the bell, providing assistance in both implementation and advocacy in towns across New Jersey. Led by Advocates for Children of New Jersey and the New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition, the Food For Thought campaign is driven by a statewide steering committee that includes New Jersey anti-hunger, education and health organizations, state agencies and child advocates. The Food Research Action Center and the American Dairy Association and Council are the campaign's national partners. The campaign has set a goal to increase school breakfast participation by 50 percent by June 2014 – and is well on the way to meeting that goal.
Join the campaign.