'Breakfast After the Bell' Advocacy Needs!

February 4, 2015

Breakfast After the Bell Advocacy Needs!

New Jersey school districts boosted the number of low-income children receiving breakfast by about 15 percent last year, according to data released by a children's advocacy group, but there are still 300,000 students going hungry as the school day begins. Still that means almost 6 of every 10 low-income students are not getting breakfast at school.  All of the research indicates that children who start their school day without a healthy meal are much less likely to have the nutrition they need to concentrate and learn.


To the concern that the time it takes to eat breakfast in the classroom is a loss of instructional time; we have heard form New Jersey school leaders who have implemented “breakfast after the bell” that student’s behavior improves, which means fewer classroom disruptions, making instructional time more productive for every student in every class.


49 school districts with at least half of their students eligible for free- and reduced-price breakfast served the morning meal to less than 30% of these low-income students. In these districts alone, close to 50,000 of New Jersey’s needy children did not receive school breakfast. If all eligible students received breakfast each school day, these 49 districts would receive an estimated total of $16 million more in federal funds to provide school breakfast each school year — and their students would have a healthy morning meal that can help them succeed in school. (These funds can only be used for breakfast — not to offset other educational expenses). 


This amplifies the need for districts with high child poverty to serve breakfast-after-the-bell to boost student participation. It is especially important for parent groups, clergy and faith communities to lead this effort in their local district.   Help with the Advocacy effort!  If you have a relationship to the districts listed below we could use your help to provide children a good start to their day.


In Atlantic County:  Brigantine

In Bergen County:  Lodi, Fairview, Englewood on the Palisades Charter School, Cliffside Park, Garfield

In Burlington County:  Riverside, Edgewater Park, Burlington

In Camden County:  Brooklawn, Camden Academy Charter High, Camden’s Promise Charter, Woodlynne, Clementon 

In Cape May County:  North Wildwood

In Essex County:  Robert Treat Academy Charter School Kearny, Belleville, North Star Academy, Burch Charter School, Merit Prep,  Visions Academy Charter School, Newark Prep

In Gloucester County:  Glassboro

In Hudson:  Guttenberg, Kearny, Soring Heights Charter, University Academy, Jersey City Golden Door, North Bergen

In Mercer County:  Foundation Academy Charter

In Middlesex County:  Carteret, Academy For Urban Leadership charter

In Monmouth County:  Keyport, Highlands, Bradley Beach, Belmar

In Morris County:  Dover

In Ocean County:  Ocean Gate

In Passaic County:  Haledon, Prospect Park, Clifton, John P Holland Charter School, Passaic Arts and Science Charter School

In Somerset County:  North Plainfield,

In Union County:  Rahway, Linden, Queen City Academy, Hillside, Plainfield

For more information please contact Advocates for Children in NJ  (ACNJ.org)  or call Rev. Sara Lilja at the Lutheran Office of Governmental Ministry at logm@njsynod.org


For more information, check out this great Fact Sheet!

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