With School Breakfast Win, Fewer Students Battle Hunger

By United Way of King County, on March 13, 2018 | In Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

We’re thrilled to share the recent win for school breakfast! Thanks to the Washington House and Senate, kids who get free or reduced-price lunch at high-needs schools will have a better way to start their day. Because Breakfast After the Bell—a bill United Way and our supporters have advocated for for years—has just been signed into law by Governor Inslee.

School breakfast isn’t a new concept. Breakfast After the Bell is simply a more efficient way of running the program. And we’re so excited about it passing this year!

With Breakfast After the Bell, more high-needs schools will get the money to boost their breakfast programs. More kids will be able to get breakfast at school—because it will be served right after class starts, during attendance or class reading time, for example. So kids who ride the bus don’t go hungry till lunch simply because the bus is late. Check out how well this has worked at a local elementary school.

Want to work with us in Olympia to get great work like this done? Join our newsletter and advocacy alerts to learn how you can be an ambassador for change at the state level. Email PublicPolicy@uwkc.org with “Subscribe” in the subject line.

Why Is School Breakfast A Big Deal?

Two big reasons, among many others:

  1. Breakfast After the Bell reduces hunger and leverages millions of federal dollars that would otherwise sit unclaimed. People are always speaking up about schools being underfunded. This improves the program so the money is better put to use, and so more kids can eat.
  2. The importance of a healthy breakfast is a no-brainer. Hence Pinterest has 3 million (more or less) recipes for healthy breakfasts. PLUS national research shows that kids who eat school breakfast have better attendance, fewer nurse visits and better test scores.

Breakfast After the Bell will help more than 30,000 additional students across Washington state access school breakfast every day.

You and United Way saw this was a great idea years ago. So we teamed up with No Kid Hungry to provide start-up grants, AmeriCorps service members and technical assistance to dozens of schools to pilot this program. We dubbed it the Breakfast Challenge. It worked so well that not only did the Seattle Sounders FC get on board to help promote it, but it also became the proof point for the Breakfast After the Bell bill. And it was one of our New Year’s wishes that came true.

This wouldn’t have happened without your support—both in dollars and in voice. Advocating for kids and families is big for United Way. Your help makes the results even bigger.

Don’t forget to join our policy newsletter to learn how you can speak out with us for change at the state level. Email PublicPolicy@uwkc.org with “Subscribe” in the subject line.

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