New bill will bring breakfast program to schools statewide

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (WWLP) – Breakfast is the most important meal of the day but thousands of Massachusetts students are going without it, well a new proposal could change that at all of the state’s public schools.

The ‘Breakfast After the Bell’ program already exists in towns like Westfield and Rowe, but the new bill would require it to be offered at all of the state’s public K through 12 schools.

The bill aims to serve school districts where more than 60 percent of the students are eligible for free and reduced lunch.

“So, when you talk about things like better test scores when you talk about things like attendance all these things, I mean feeding them is just part of the story,” Rep. John Velis said.

The bill allows schools to choose from several models, like breakfast in the classroom, grab and go breakfast and a cafeteria served breakfast. State Representatives passed the bill unanimously before their Thanksgiving break, and now they are hoping state senators will do the same.

If signed into law, the ‘Breakfast After the Bell’ program would be offered at 600 schools in the Commonwealth, helping to feed more than 260,000 children statewide.

The bill has bipartisan support from more than 91 legislators, but the Senate could vote to alter parts of the bill before putting it up for a full vote.

22News will continue to follow the legislation and provide you with updates as they come.

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