McGovern, Davis Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Strengthen Student Access to Healthy School Breakfasts

Healthy Breakfasts Help Kids Learn Act Endorsed by School Nutrition Association

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

The Healthy Breakfasts Help Kids Learn Act is endorsed by the School Nutrition Association and the National Education Association. It 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.

“My two sisters are public school teachers. I hear from them all the time that in school, a healthy breakfast is just as important as a textbook,” said Representative McGovern. “Teachers can lose an entire morning because 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. But it’s also an economic issue – kids can’t prepare for the future if they’re focused on hunger instead of learning. I urge our colleagues to join us in support of this important 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. “This legislation will provide more healthy, American-grown meals to students in need and make this program stronger. I urge my colleagues to join us in combatting child hunger.”

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.