Last week, the national anti-hunger campaign No Kid Hungry announced Sen. Sal DiDomenico as a recipient of its 2020 Breakfast Hero contest. DiDomenico was one of only six recipients throughout the United States.
DiDomenico was awarded alongside his House colleagues and Representatives Aaron Vega and Andy Vargas for their sponsorship of Breakfast After the Bell legislation that recently passed unanimously in both chambers of the Massachusetts Legislature. Once enacted, this legislation will increase access to school breakfast to over 150,000 low-income students across the Commonwealth by making it a part of the school day.
Accessing traditional cafeteria breakfast service can be challenging for many kids. Breakfast after the bell provides breakfast in a way that is more convenient and accessible to students, resulting in more kids starting the day ready to learn.
“Thank you to No Kid Hungry for honoring me as a recipient of their 2020 Breakfast Hero contest,” said Sen. DiDomenico. “We can have the best teachers, facilities, and technology in our classrooms, but if our kids are showing up for school hungry, they simply are not ready to learn. Breakfast After the Bell is smart policy that will help thousands of children across our Commonwealth access the nutrition they need to start their days. I am very grateful to the No Kid Hungry campaign and Rise and Shine Coalition for their advocacy and partnership on this critical issue for our children and families.”
“Smart legislation is one of the most effective ways to increase participation in school breakfast programs,” said Bernadette Downey, Share Our Strength’s associate director, government relations and advocacy. “Once this legislation is enacted, thousands more kids in Massachusetts will get the nutrition they need to reach their full potential – thanks to the strong leadership of these three breakfast heroes.”
According to No Kid Hungry, “this year’s inspiring line up of champions come from all walks of life, proof that ending childhood hunger takes all of us. Breakfast powers kids to reach their full potential, but millions of kids in need start each school day on an empty stomach. No Kid Hungry’s breakfast hero award celebrates individuals who are changing that. By using their voices to build awareness, enacting smart policy, raising critical funds and implementing breakfast after the bell programs in schools, they have gone above and beyond to ensure all kids in America are Powered By Breakfast.”
No Kid Hungry is an active member of Rise and Shine Massachusetts, a statewide coalition of over fifty hunger-relief and education organizations advocating for state legislation that increases equitable access and participation in school breakfast.
School breakfast is an energy source for kids across the nation. Research shows that hunger has long-term ramifications on children, including lower test scores, weaker attendance rates, and a higher risk of hospitalizations and chronic diseases. No Kid Hungry and its partners focus on school breakfast as a critical way to end childhood hunger.