CONCORD, NH - During the debate over SB 526 Sen. David Watters said “A hungry child cannot learn.” A child who is forced to sit through a day of school with a growling stomach will not perform at their highest potential. Providing breakfast to students will give them the nutrition necessary to excel academically and soak up all that New Hampshire public schools have to offer.
At the beginning of 2018 Senate Democrats lead by Senators Fuller-Clark, Feltes, and Hennessy supported SB 526, which would cause New Hampshire public schools to make a free breakfast available for any child. At the expense of hungry New Hampshire students Senate Republicans voted to table the bill.
“This bill is about providing children with the most important meal of the day. If we do nothing New Hampshire will remain 49th in participation in the national school breakfast program among low income children. Shouldn’t our children be our first priority? Shouldn’t we make sure that they are able to perform at their best level? I believe it is wrong to table this bill.” - Senator Martha Fuller Clark SD-21
New Hampshire is 49th in school breakfast participation and the Republican Senate majority refuses to vote to feed hungry New Hampshire children. 29% of New Hampshire students are eligible for free and reduced school lunch as of 2015, and that number has been increasing steadily. These students are just as hungry at breakfast as they are when they receive their free or reduced lunch.
Everyone knows breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet Senate Republicans voted to table the bill that would make it available to the New Hampshire students who need it most. While Republicans continue to table SB 526 they also continue to keep breakfast off the table of our most vulnerable children.