Approximately 1 in every 9 Massachusetts children is food insecure. While these children and their families may not be hungry today or even tomorrow, the threat of hunger is a daily reality in their households. Federal nutrition programs are a critical safety net to help keep these families’ budgets in balance and minimize trade-offs between food, housing, medical care, and other critical needs. School meal programs such as the National School Breakfast Program (NSBP) and National School Lunch Program (NSLP) help bridge this gap for families, providing nutritious meals at low or no cost to low-income students at schools throughout the country.
Starting the day with a nutritious meal is important for every student—no matter their family’s income level—but for children who don't eat breakfast at home, school breakfast is especially important. Children who eat a healthy breakfast are more likely to retain what they learn in class, behave better, and experience better health outcomes. Of the more than 400,000 students in Massachusetts who qualify for free and reduced-price meals, only around 40% currently receive breakfast at school. CNOP strives to expand access to school breakfast programs across the state to ensure all students start the school day with a healthy meal to enable them to learn and thrive.