Community Foundation of New Jersey

NJ schools expected to collect $21 million more in federal funds

March 5, 2014

Our friends at Advocates for Children of New Jersey, who spearhead the Food for Thought School Breakfast Campaign of which we are a part, have some good news to share:

New Jersey school districts are expected to receive an additional $21 million in federal dollars to feed breakfast to hungry students. In FY 2012, New Jersey collected almost $56 million in federal funds for school breakfast. That is expected to increase to $77 million in the coming fiscal year – a 38 percent increase.

This is really a remarkable achievement, especially since when we first started talking about this issue, New Jersey was losing out on more than $22 million in federal reimbursements each year because schools failed to serve breakfast to 60 percent of the state’s needy children.

So what accounts for the turnaround?  A lot of experts point to breakfast after the bell programs, when students are already in school and, therefore, better able to get a healthy start.