Legislator supports breakfast after the bell

Students who eat a nutritious, well-balanced breakfast tend to be healthier, have longer attention spans and are more likely to succeed in school.

For this reason, I have sponsored legislation that was recently signed into law that would encourage schools to move their breakfast programs to after the first bell of the day in order to boost student participation.

Accordingly, this program is referred to as Breakfast After the Bell, with the idea that when breakfast is only offered prior to the beginning of the school day, a large number of students may not be able to get to the building early enough to participate.

In fact, from 2010-14, New Jersey schools posted a 55 percent increase in the number of low-income students eating breakfast at school, primarily by serving breakfast after the bell. In September, I was joined by Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, the secretary of agriculture, and representatives from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as we toured Herbert Hoover Middle School in Edison to see the benefits of the program. The results were very encouraging.

With that said, I have asked school boards and superintendents to implement a Breakfast After the Bell program in their districts. Evidence has shown that a healthy breakfast leads to better student performance.

Nancy J. Pinkin
State Assemblywoman
Middlesex County