Philly.com
Jane Clements-Smith
3/20/17

Making breakfast a part of the school day is the fastest, easiest way to dramatically improve the lives of millions of low-income children and ensure they get the education they need (“Free breakfasts feed classroom performance,” March 9).

Unfortunately, only about half of students who qualify for school breakfast programs actually participate. In his 2017-18 budget address, Gov. Wolf proposed $2 million to help schools launch or expand breakfast programs. It’s a wise investment — one that could leverage millions of dollars in federal funds.

When kids aren’t getting the consistent nutrition they need, it’s more difficult to focus in class. Test scores drop, and students are more likely to miss class time because they’re in the nurse’s office with headaches or stomachaches. That’s why the governor’s investment is so important. When children start the day with the nutrition they need, it has long-lasting consequences for the entire state.

Jane Clements-Smith, executive director, Feeding Pennsylvania, Harrisburg