More than 45,000 Maine students will get Breakfast After the Bell through a critically needed new law. Breakfast After the Bell allows schools across the state to provide the meals in the classroom before the school day begins, after first period, or through a “grab and go” option.
One in five Maine children lives in a food insecure home. Nearly half of Maine kids qualify for free or reduced-price meals, including breakfast. But nearly 60% of eligible students who participate in free and reduced-price lunch programs do not also participate in school breakfast. Offering breakfast in the classroom is shown to dramatically increase rates of participation among the students who need it most.
The Act To Address Student Hunger with a “Breakfast after the Bell” Program provides funding for breakfast after the bell to all students in Maine public schools where more than 50% of students are eligible for free and reduced price meals. When fully implemented, the program would give over 45,000 students access to breakfast every day, and also bring an estimated $13,000,000 federal dollars into Maine schools every year.
The legislative effort was led by Preble Street, in partnership with Tusk / Montgomery Philanthropies (TMP), the family foundation of venture capitalist and political strategist Bradley Tusk.