June 23, 2023

Katie Herndon Dawkins, North Carolina Alliance for Health Communications Manager

Let’s talk breakfast! It’s been said to be the most important meal of the day and I agree. I can’t even start focusing on work until I’ve had breakfast. It’s also incredibly important for students. Did you know that students who eat breakfast at school perform better academically? They do! When students eat breakfast before taking a standardized test, they score significantly higher than students who don’t eat breakfast. They are also more likely to be on time and they miss fewer school days. There is plenty of research on the benefits of school breakfast but it all comes down to one thing: hungry students can’t learn. Eating breakfast at school sets students up for success for the rest of the day. 

So let’s set our students up for success! Even incremental progress towards no-cost school meals for all would be beneficial. Providing breakfast for all students puts students first and builds on the foundation North Carolina has taken to feed students consistent and nutritious meals during the school day. Funding school breakfast for all K-5 students mirrors the NCGA’s already-in-place incremental approach to meal funding that eliminated the reduced-price copays starting with breakfast.

If we want kids to develop the skills they need to do well in life, we need to put resources toward helping them do well in school. Ensuring that every child in every public school in North Carolina has access to breakfast at school at no cost to their families is a proven way to do that. Let’s put kids first and ensure they have access to the first meal of the day at school. We all benefit when every child has access to the nutrition they need to reach their full potential. By committing resources to provide breakfast at no cost to families to all children attending public school in North Carolina, we are creating a North Carolina where the potential contributions of all residents are realized and available to their communities.

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