Beginning 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 and Go, or Second Chance Breakfast) that best suits the students.

Delivery Models:

Breakfast After the Bell makes sense. Test scores rise, disciplinary actions fall, and schools report stronger attendance and graduation rates.Schools are required to offer the breakfast near the beginning of the school day, and must allow sufficient time for the meal to be served and eaten. Many schools offer breakfast in the cafeteria before school begins. However, other methods can reduce barriers to participation and remove the social stigma associated with the program.

Students pick-up bagged or boxed breakfast from carts or specified areas and are permitted to eat in either designated areas or the classroom.

Breakfast is delivered to each classroom after school begins and students are permitted to eat breakfast in the classroom during the first few minutes of the day when activities (attendance, turning in homework, morning announcements, etc.) are occurring. Breakfast in the Classroom is one of the most effective ways to ensure all students have access to breakfast.
Extended passing or breakfast period is offered, following the first or second period of the day.


Start or enhance your Breakfast After the Bell program by: