Letters to the Editor

Breakfast program readies kids to learn

Washington state ranks 41st in the nation for the number of low-income children who eat school breakfast. One in five children struggle with hunger in Washington, which impedes their ability to fully engage and concentrate in school, while negatively impacting academic performance.

There are also barriers to serving breakfast in the cafeteria before school that families and children encounter, including: bus and carpool schedules; not enough time in the morning; social stigma, as well as peer pressure that prevent kids from eating school breakfast at that time. Washington kids deserve better. Allowing kids to eat after the bell removes these barriers and increases participation. The “Breakfast After the Bell” initiative is an opportunity to improve outcomes for thousands of children across the state every single day.

Studies reveal that everything is better at schools where kids eat a healthy breakfast, including:

▪  Reduced childhood hunger

▪  Reduced behavioral incidents

▪  Improved test scores

▪  Fewer missed school days

Say “yes!” to Breakfast After the Bell and ensure that a nutritious breakfast is more accessible to hungry kids!

The initiative has support from dozens of leading organizations throughout the state including Children’s Alliance, United Way of King County, WithinReach, Washington Appleseed, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Food Lifeline, Jewish Federation, Northwest Harvest, Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition, Equity in Education, and many, many more.