In August of 2020, An Act Regarding Breakfast After the Bell was signed into law for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (C. 133 of the Acts of 2020). The bill contains language directing high-need public schools to offer school breakfast after the instructional day has begun. Specifically, the language states that "All public schools required to serve breakfast under subsection (b) and where not less than 60 per cent of the students at the school are eligible for free or reduced-price meals under the National School Lunch Program, as determined by the department, shall offer all students a school breakfast after the beginning of the instructional day.".
One or more schools within your school district have been identified as already mandated to offer school breakfast, having a student population with at least 60 percent free and reduced price eligible students*. Please see the list below to find the school or schools within your district affected by this requirement. If you believe the school breakfast model at the school or schools listed within your school district are reported incorrectly, please update the current FY22 National School Lunch Program (NSLP) School Application section in the Security Portal to reflect the correct school breakfast model and timing.
With the understanding that implementing a new type of school breakfast model has its challenges, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Office for Food and Nutrition Programs (FNP) and the Child Nutrition Outreach Program (CNOP) at Project Bread have developed the Breakfast After-the-Bell Toolkit Series to assist you in deciding which type of alternative breakfast model best suits your school or schools. These school breakfast model quick guides and integrity guidebook are designed to help with the launch and implementation of the most common types of alternative breakfast models. The free resources, which were previously mailed to all school districts, can be found online at Massachusetts After the Bell Toolkit Series. The preceding link also includes a list of private funding opportunities and operational resources such as a meal count roster example.
Additionally, FNP and CNOP have piloted the Massachusetts School Breakfast Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Mentoring Program. Our goal is to provide school breakfast stakeholders who have not yet implemented after-the-bell school breakfast programs with mentorship from their peers coupled with wrap-around resources to ensure successful and sustainable improvements to school breakfast programs across Massachusetts. FNP's monthly Making It Count (MIC) Newsletter features future peer-to-peer mentoring opportunities.
The intent of An Act Regarding Breakfast After the Bell is to implement a new school breakfast model after the beginning of the instructional day has begun. FNP will be reviewing school compliance and providing technical assistance during Administrative Reviews and during School Year (SY) 2022 – 2023.
The requirement to provide breakfast after the beginning of the instructional day may be waived for a period of 1 year by DESE if a public school demonstrates that in the previous academic year it consistently met an 80 per cent or higher breakfast participation rate with its current delivery model. Additionally, if the school demonstrates an extreme hardship to implementation, as determined by DESE, a waiver may be granted permitting the district shall demonstrate progress towards implementation within 3 months.
FNP and CNOP are here to help you find solutions to ensure you implement a breakfast model that best suits your schools. If you have questions, concerns, or need assistance, please contact us at:
Office for Food and Nutrition Programs
Child Nutrition Outreach Program at Project Bread
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Last Updated: June 30, 2022
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906
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