Sending Office: Honorable Gwen Moore
FY20 Letter to Help More Children Start the School Day with Breakfast
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Please join us in urging the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture to provide $35 million in FY 2020 funding for grants to help schools expand access to school breakfast for eligible low-income children.
School breakfast programs were developed in response to a simple problem: too many children going to school without breakfast or without a nutritionally adequate breakfast. Studies have found that children who don’t eat a good breakfast are not ready to
learn, are subject to more illnesses, and lose energy and focus before lunch. Over 12.5 million children received a free or reduced-price breakfast on an average day during the 2017-2018 school year. Yet, nationwide, only about 57 low-income children
participated in school breakfast for every 100 participating in school lunch. According to the latest school breakfast scorecard from the Food Research and Action Center, in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and my own state of Wisconsin, between 20-25 percent of
schools that offer lunch do not even offer school breakfast, denying tens of thousands of low-income children the opportunity to start their school day with a meal.
We know that innovative models such as breakfast in the classroom, breakfast after the bell, and grab and go carts have and can increase participation of eligible children. We need to support their adoption in schools to allow more children to begin the
day with a healthy meal.
The Healthy and Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-296) authorized competitive grants to address this challenge by helping schools create, maintain, or expand their breakfast programs using innovative programs like universal breakfast or other programs
that local schools decide will help them reach more hungry students in the morning.
I urge you to join us in this request.
XXXX XX, 2019
The Honorable Sanford Bishop
House Appropriations Committee
2362-A Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Robert B. Aderholt
House Appropriations Committee
1203 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Chairman Bishop and Ranking Member Aderholt:
We write to urge the subcommittee to provide $35 million in the FY 2020 Department of Agriculture Appropriations bill for grants under section 105 of the Healthy and Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-296) to help reduce the number of children who start
the school day on an empty stomach and not adequately prepared to learn.
Requested funds will help local educational agencies and schools increase access to breakfast, establish, maintain, or expand their school breakfast programs, for low-income children.
Yet despite improvements, the latest School Breakfast Scorecard by the Food Research and Action Center using USDA data found that in the 2017-2018 school year, about
half (57 for every 100) of all low-income students who participated in school lunch also ate school breakfast—up from a ratio of 56.7 for previous school year and 46.1:100 a decade earlier. Millions of eligible low-income students are missing an opportunity
to start their school day strong.
The science is clear: hunger hinders learning and child development. Connecting kids to programs like school breakfast helps ensure they get the healthy food they need to learn and grow and remain attentive through the school day. When we invest in ensuring
access to healthy breakfast and lunches through the child nutrition programs, we support the considerable investment in education made by federal, state, and local taxpayers while ensuring that the individual child has the best opportunity to learn.
We strongly support providing funding so that schools are able to reduce hunger among low-income students and boost education and health outcomes. By funding these grants, we can allow schools to choose the best options and practices that they believe will
work to increase the number of children who start the day with a healthy breakfast.
Again, we urge you to provide $35 million for grants to help schools remove barriers that keep eligible students from participating in school breakfast.
Gwen S. Moore Rashida Tlaib
Member of Congress Member of Congress
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