Breakfast is an education issue. Any teacher will tell you food is a basic school supply, just like textbooks and pencils. When children struggle with hunger, it’s harder for them to learn. Research shows that when children get school breakfast, they feel better, they learn more and they grow up stronger.
In his 2017-18 budget address, Gov. Tom Wolf proposed $2 million to help Pennsylvania schools launch or expand school breakfast programs, an investment that would leverage millions more in federal funds. When children start the day with the nutrition they need, it has long-lasting consequences for the entire commonwealth.
Today, just over half of children who qualify for the school breakfast program are actually receiving it. It doesn’t have to be this way. We know what works, and we know how to solve this problem. By simply making breakfast a part of the school day in schools, we can change everything.
Several Lancaster County schools are already doing this, but the governor’s plan would help even more schools adopt and expand proven programs, such as breakfast after the bell, which includes breakfast in the classroom and grab-and-go models.
When children get the food they need, they grow up smarter, healthier and stronger, and that means a smarter, healthier, stronger Pennsylvania. The governor’s plan is a wise investment. Let’s work together to make sure every child has the food he or she needs to stay focused and ready to learn.
School Breakfast Outreach Coordinator
Central Pennsylvania Food Bank