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Reps. McGovern, Davis Introduce Bill Expanding Student Access to Healthy School Breakfasts

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Washington, September 13, 2019 | comments

WASHINGTON Today, U.S. Representatives James P. McGovern (D-MA), and Rodney Davis (R-IL) announced the introduction of a bipartisan bill in the House of Representatives to expand access to healthy school breakfasts for students across America.

The Healthy Breakfasts Help Kids Learn Act is endorsed by the non-profit School Nutrition Association, and  would strengthen and enhance the School Breakfast Program so that additional federal support is available to participating schools that provide healthy, American-grown breakfast foods to students in grades pre-k through 12. Each year, nearly 13 million children navigate food insecurity in America. Research shows that students who eat school breakfasts perform better on standardized tests and have improved classroom behavior and attendance.

The full text of the bill can be found here.

“I have two sisters who are public school teachers. I hear from them all the time that when it comes to helping kids learn, healthy food is just as important as a textbook,” said Representative McGovern. “Teachers can lose an entire morning when kids who haven’t eaten breakfast can’t focus. We have millions of kids in this country who can’t concentrate because they’re showing up to class hungry. I think that’s a moral issue – no child in America should go hungry. Period. But I also think it’s an economic issue – kids can’t prepare for a career if they can’t learn because they haven’t eaten. I urge my colleagues to join us in support of this important bipartisan bill.”

“The School Breakfast Program is critical to ensuring kids are not starting their day off hungry so they can focus on learning,” said Representative Davis. “As kids across the country begin a new school year, I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan bill with Rep. McGovern that will provide more healthy meals to students in need and make this program stronger. I hope to see this language included in a final Childhood Nutrition Reauthorization bill.”

“Research shows eating a school breakfast can boost student achievement, attention and behavior in class, but too many students still start their day on an empty stomach,” said School Nutrition Association President Gay Anderson, SNS. “The Healthy Breakfasts Help Kids Learn Act will support efforts to increase student access to nutritious school breakfasts, supporting student success and allowing children to enjoy a wider variety of American-grown foods with school meals.”

The United States Department of Agriculture provides both cash reimbursement and healthy, American-grown foods directly to over 30 million schoolchildren each day through the national School Lunch Program. The amount of food that schools receive for breakfast is currently based only on the number of lunches served – the Healthy Breakfasts Help Kids Learn Act would provide schools with an additional 6 cents in commodity support for every school breakfast served.

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