Silbert and Frank: Benefit to breakfast ‘after the bell’
Massachusetts is one of the wealthiest states in the nation. Yet one in seven children here is at risk of hunger because of their family’s financial situation. For far too many low-income children, breakfast, the most important meal of the day, is often the hardest to come by.
While the majority of low-income children participate in the free school lunch program, less than half typically eat a free school breakfast. Massachusetts is a national leader in public health and education. We should be leading school breakfast rankings for low-income kids, too.
The Eos Foundation and Children’s HealthWatch recently released the first Massachusetts School Breakfast Report Card showing how low-income districts are doing. Lowell has the highest rate of participation, while New Bedford, Brockton and Springfield are seeing at least 80 percent participation in the schools that offer the classroom program — and they are committed to expanding districtwide. In other low-income districts, as few as one in 5 students gets a breakfast each day. For them, this Report Card is a call to action.