A new state law requires high-poverty New Jersey schools to serve breakfast during the school day. Our new primer explains the ins and outs.

Under legislation signed into law in May 2018, schools with at least 70 percent of students eligible for free or reduced-price meals must provide breakfast during the school day. Known as breakfast after the bell, this approach significantly increases student participation in this critical child nutrition program.

An estimated 500 schools educating nearly 308,000 students will be required to serve breakfast “after the bell,” according to an analysis by Advocates for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ). This change has the potential to bring up to $42 million more in federal funds back to New Jersey to feed hungry children, according to ACNJ.

The New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition, along with its many partners, will be working with state officials and local districts to  ensure successful implementation of this new law. To help school officials and others understand the requirements, we prepared this primer, in consultation with the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, which administers the program on the state level.

Please share with school and local officials, parents, teachers and other in your community.