School breakfast is a smart choice
Mar 24, 2013 | 1002 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Dear Editor:

In New Jersey, we spend billions of dollars each year on public education. Yet we fail to do a simple and inexpensive thing that can help thousands of children succeed in school. Feed them breakfast.

Despite the existence of a federal school breakfast program and the undisputed benefits of breakfast, New Jersey ranks 46th nationally for its low student participation.

Why? Because most districts serve breakfast before school starts – when children have not yet arrived. The good news is that a growing number of New Jersey districts are changing this ineffective practice by serving breakfast in the first few minutes of the school day. Known as “breakfast after the bell,” this approach ensures that all kids get a healthy breakfast at the start of their school day.

March 4-8 was School Breakfast Week and no better time for school officials to look at their breakfast participation rates and ask themselves whether they can do better. The New Jersey Food for Thought School Breakfast Campaign has assembled a wealth of resources to assist districts at njschoolbreakfast.org.

Hungry students struggle to learn. School breakfast is a simple and do-able solution that can leverage the significant investment we make in public education – and in our children.

Adele LaTourette
Anti-Hunger Coalition

Nancy Parello
Advocates for Children of New Jersey

Co-chairs of the NJ Food for Thought School Breakfast Campaign

Nancy Parello
Communications Director
Advocates for Children of New Jersey

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