Assembly Panel Approves Democratic Bill Package to Give Kids a Leg Up by Boosting Breakfast Programs In Schools

An Assembly panel on Monday approved a comprehensive package of bills sponsored by Assembly Democrats to boost breakfast programs in schools, particularly for underprivileged children, in order to help give them a leg up on academics.

The package is sponsored by Assembly Democrats Joseph Cryan, Daniel Benson, Jason O’Donnell, Troy Singleton, Pamela Lampitt, Celeste Riley, Bob Andrzejczak, Gilbert “Whip” Wilson, Gabriela Mosquera, Gary Schaer, L. Grace Spencer and Eliana Pintor Marin.
Legislation (A-2840) sponsored by Assemblywoman Mosquera would require public schools to establish a school breakfast program if five percent or more of the student body is eligible for free or reduced price meals under the federal School Lunch or Breakfast Program.
Under current statutes, a school with five percent or more of those eligible students must have a school lunch program, and a school with 20 percent or more of those eligible students must have a school breakfast program.
“It’s clear that we need to increase our efforts to make sure every eligible child is enrolled in this important program because New Jersey ranks a poor 46th nationwide when it comes to our participation rate in the school breakfast program,” said Mosquera (D-Camden/Gloucester).
The sponsors noted that the center estimates that New Jersey school districts would collect nearly $22 million more annually from the federal government if schools increase student participation so that 60 percent of students who receive school lunch also get breakfast at school.
All of the bills were approved by the Assembly Women and Children Committee.
(Source: Assembly Majority Office)