RELEASE: Victory for Students In New York State

NYS Legislature Approves Proposal To Bring Breakfast To More Kids

Christy Felling at 202.320.4483 or

04/02/18, ALBANY, NY – Victory for children across New York today, as the state legislature approved a budget that includes the breakfast after the bell proposal, bringing school breakfast to more of the students who need it.

The breakfast after the bell proposal requires high-need public schools across the state to offer school breakfast after the start of the school day. This ensures more children in need are able to access this critical meal.

 “The traditional way of serving school breakfast, before most students arrive at school, means many kids are missing out,” said Lucy Melcher, Director for the No Kid Hungry campaign. “Making breakfast a part of the school day means tens of thousands of kids will have the chance to get the morning nutrition they need to learn.”

While most schools in New York offer school breakfast, it is traditionally served in the cafeteria before the school day begins. This causes many children to miss out when bus schedules don’t align and children fear the stigma of eating in the cafeteria before school. Serving breakfast after the bell reduces these barriers and means more children can access the meal. This proposal will:

  • Expand breakfast after the bell to high-need K-12 schools across the state. Schools can choose the method that’s right for them, whether in the classroom, a “second chance” breakfast served after first period, or the portable “grab n’ go” option.
  • Provide funding to help these schools successfully implement the program.

Research shows that when kids consistently get a healthy school breakfast, it has a dramatic impact on their learning. Test scores rise. Educators report fewer discipline problems, higher attendance rates, and calmer classrooms. This has a long-term impact on their future well-being. It also has a long-term impact on the strength and productivity of New York State.

“Every meal matters when you are a hungry child,” said Melcher. “Breakfast after the bell will make such a positive difference in the lives of New York’s children and we are looking forward to working with schools during the roll out of this new law to ensure it is a success .”