Starting in the 2017-2018 school year, Illinois schools with 70% or more of the student population eligible for free or reduced–price meals will begin offering Breakfast After the Bell – which means serving breakfast as part of the school day. Breakfast as part of the school day increases access to the nutrition all students require each morning to learn and succeed in the classroom.
Breakfast After the Bell Backstory:
Breakfast in the cafeteria before school starts doesn’t reach most students. Students may not get to school early enough, opt to hang out with friends, or aren’t hungry early in the morning. As a result thousands of students in Illinois start their morning without breakfast.
In Illinois, the school breakfast program only reaches 47.7% of students who are eating a free or reduced-price lunch, making us 43rd in the nation for breakfast participation.
The Good News:
In 2016, the Illinois General Assembly unanimously passed Breakfast After the Bell legislation ensuring students in 890 schools across the state have access to a healthy breakfast to start their day. The legislation was signed into law August 19, 2016. Schools may choose a Breakfast After the Bell delivery model (Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab ‘N’ Go, or Second Chance Breakfast) that best suits the students.
Students pick-up bagged or boxed breakfast from mobile carts in high traffic areas (hallways, entryways). Students can eat in the classroom or designated areas on school grounds before and after the bell has rung.
Start or enhance your Breakfast After the Bell program by:
- Downloading the Playbook: Breakfast After the Bell Toolkit – a resource for Breakfast After the Bell implementation.
- Applying for a school breakfast grant to help with the purchase of equipment, supplies, and materials to facilitate your Breakfast After the Bell program. You can view a list of our 2017 grant recipients here.
- Learn about and apply for the Community Eligibility Provision
- Connect with a Rise & Shine IL School Breakfast Coordinator that can help start a Breakfast After the Bell program and/or troubleshoot strategies for a sustainable Breakfast After the Bell program. Coordinators also provide technical assistance on grant applications to purchase equipment, materials, or supplies to support your Breakfast After the Bell program.
Funding/Community Eligibility Provision:
- United States Department of Agriculture
- Illinois State Board of Education
- No Kid Hungry School Calculator
Toolkits & Blueprints to get started and sustain Breakfast After the Bell:
- Playbook: Breakfast After the Bell Toolkit
- Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) Secondary School Principals’ Breakfast After the Bell Toolkit
- American Federation of Teachers & Food Research & Action Center Breakfast Blueprint
- USDA’s Energize Your Day with School Breakfast
School Breakfast Reports:
- Illinois School Breakfast Report 2017
- Illinois Financial Sustainability Report 2016
- Rise & Shine Illinois Breakfast Report 2015
- Illinois Breakfast Report Data by Top 100 Districts 2014-2015
- Rise & Shine Illinois Breakfast Report 2013-2014 School Year
- Illinois Breakfast Report 2011-2012 School Year
Facts and Figures:
- 2017 No Kid Hungry Report: Hunger in Our Schools
- Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap 2017 Report
- Map the Meal Gap