Sen. Joyce Maker Introduces Breakfast After the Bell Program


By Amy Jeanroy

 Studies show that hungry students don't perform and behave their best. They score lower in math and reading and are more likely to be absent and repeat a grade in school. State Senator Joyce Maker (R-Washington) is trying to address this issue with LD 809, "An Act To Address Student Hunger with a "Breakfast after the Bell" Program."  

The bill, co-sponsored by members from both parties, directs school administrative units with a public school in which at least 50% of students qualify for a free or reduced-price lunch to provide an alternative breakfast delivery service to offer breakfast to all students after the start of the school day each day.

“Offering a breakfast option to everyone during school hours, regardless of income level, removes any stigma associated with being from a poor family. This means that programs such as this will reach more students in need, ensuring that all students can have the opportunity to focus and learn without worrying or feeling hungry.”

Breakfast After the Bell programs have been implemented in school districts across the country with encouraging results. According to the National Education Association, principals who have implemented the program have noticed improved student attentiveness (46%), fewer occurrences of tardiness (32%), less absenteeism (21%), fewer visits to the school nurse (21%), fewer disciplinary referrals (18%) and improved reading and math test scores (9%).


LD 809 has been referred to the Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs for consideration.