Statement by Dr. Terry Brooks, executive director, Kentucky Youth Advocates
LOUISVILLE, KY – Students who start their school day with a full belly are more likely to perform better on tests, attend more days of school, and graduate from high school – setting them on a path to become less likely to struggle with hunger as adults. By recognizing this connection between school breakfast and academic achievement, Kentucky is rethinking how and where school breakfast is served with passage of Senate Bill 151 by the Senate Education Committee. This important measure will clarify the current law to simply give school districts the option to serve students on free and reduced meals their breakfast during the first 15 minutes of the day.
Nearly one in five kids in Kentucky live in a food insecure household, with a disproportionate impact on children of color. Schools traditionally serve free or reduced breakfast in the cafeteria before the start of the school day, but too many eligible kids miss out because of late arrival times, stigma, and other issues out of their control. SB 151, sponsored by Senator Jason Howell, will help close school breakfast participation gaps to ensure every kid has the nutrition they need to succeed.
We thank Senator Howell for championing SB 151 and the Senate Education Committee for recognizing the urgent need to reduce child hunger with passage today.
Stay up-to-date on Blueprint for Kentucky’s Children priorities and other bills that are good for kids on our Kentucky General Assembly Bill Tracker.
About Kentucky Youth Advocates
Kentucky Youth Advocates believes all children deserve to be safe, healthy, and secure. As THE independent voice for Kentucky’s children, we work to ensure policymakers create investments and policies that are good for children. Learn more at www.kyyouth.org.