SALT LAKE CITY – Soon more Utah students could eat breakfast for free at school–and they could be eating those pancakes and eggs in class.
A bill passed on Monday by a Utah House committee would require schools enrolled in the National School Lunch Program to also apply for the federal School Breakfast Program so Utah students could eat breakfast in class.
And those schools with 50% enrollment or greater in free or reduced meal plans would have to serve that breakfast after the school bell rings.
Jeffrey Van Holton, a policy advisor for the Utah Board of Education, told the committee the goal is to help needy families.
“These students are, especially in these high poverty schools, are more likely to experience hunger. And you’re also dealing with a population who probably isn’t getting their kids to school an hour early. So, the idea would be to make sure the food is accessible and the students are there,” Van Holton said.
The change would affect 16,000 students in Utah.
Some school districts in Utah, like the Granite School District, already offer breakfast after the first bell.
But a similar program in California has led to teacher complaints for years of messy classrooms and shorter instruction time.
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