The Food Bank is working with local schools to bring free, universal breakfast into high-need schools

Breakfast After the Bell provides a healthy morning meal to all children regardless of family income. After the school day begins, children eat together in the classroom, enjoying nutritionally well-balanced foods while the teacher takes attendance, collects homework, or provides a short lesson plan. In about 10 minutes, the meal is over, students help with clean up, and the school day continues.

Breakfast After the Bell legislation

Why this is important:

Children who eat breakfast are 20% more likely to graduate from high school and are less likely to experience hunger as a result.

Research shows that food-insecure children face significant stress and challenges that can have a lasting effect on their physical, cognitive and behavioral development. Hunger affects a child’s ability to learn and perform well at school. Hungry children have trouble focusing in class, and may struggle with complex social interactions and adapt less effectively to environmental stress.

The Benefits of Breakfast After the Bell:


  • Eliminates stigma by feeding all children regardless of economic need.
  • Reduces visits to the school nurse.
  • Reduces rates of absences and tardiness.
  • Improves standardized test results: students have improved concentration, alertness, comprehension, memory and learning.
  • Social development: Children gain social skills and a sense of community while eating in calm classrooms.

The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts is a member of Rise and Shine Massachusetts, a statewide coalition advocating to bring Breakfast After the Bell into all qualified schools in the commonwealth.