The School Breakfast Program (SBP) provides free and low-cost nourishing breakfasts to millions of children each school day. In 2020, 10.7 million children received a free or reduced-price meal through the SBP.
Free school meals, like the School Breakfast Program, help to address child hunger in the United States. Currently, 9 million children in the U.S. doesn't know where their next meal will come from.
Why the School Breakfast Program matters
- School breakfast helps children have the fuel they need to thrive in and outside the classroom. When a child eats breakfast, they: score better on tests, experience fewer behavioral problems, such as tardiness and absenteeism, and focus more during the school day.
- School breakfast supports children’s physical and mental development. When kids have enough to eat, they are less likely to be hospitalized or face higher risks of health conditions like anemia and asthma.
- School breakfasts supplement the food that kids may receive at home. Children consume up to 50 percent of their daily calories at school. For kids facing hunger, school meals may be their only reliable food source.
How lawmakers can improve the School Breakfast Program
Through Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR), Congress can strengthen access to and the quality of meals provided by the SBP by:
- Improving and simplifying access so more children can receive free school meals
- Expanding community eligibility so more schools can offer free school meals to all students also known as universal breakfast
- Increasing opportunities to certify kids for free meals directly
- Supporting schools as they improve the nutritional quality of meals by providing support, equipment, and training to meet guidelines established in past CNR legislation
How you can advocate for the School Breakfast Program
Tell Congress why ending child hunger matters. Make sure lawmakers know why fighting child hunger must be the nation's top priority. Share how CNR is the pathway to improving the federal programs that feed kids.