Working to end hunger in New Jersey
through education, advocacy and activism
The students of Mott Elementary in Trenton are greeted each morning with a smile and a good breakfast. A breakfast cart is set up in the entrance of the school and is filled with fresh fruit, yogurt and breakfast bars. Two days a week, students are also offered a hot breakfast option. As they enter the school, students make their selection from the breakfast cart and take the bagged food into the gym. They are allowed to eat the food there or can take it with them when they go to class. This ensures that every child is able to obtain and eat breakfast at some point during the morning hours.
Of the 441 students enrolled at Mott Elementary, 93% are eligible for free or reduced price schools meals*. These are students at the greatest risk for hunger and food insecurity, which is why Principal Ramirez is so committed to improving access to the breakfast program.
Because the breakfast is accessible to all students regardless of when they arrive at school in the morning, on average between 350 and 375 students (80% plus) participate in the program each day.
ARAMARK is the food service provider for the Trenton school district, and with Principal Ramirez spearheaded this breakfast after the bell program. Denise Holguin, Community Relations Manager for ARAMARK, states that “ensuring that every student has the opportunity and access to eat breakfast is our ultimate goal throughout the Trenton School District. We are thrilled that we have been provided the opportunity to expand our serving method to maximize breakfast participation at Mott Elementary School.”
*income eligibility for free school meals = 130% of the federal poverty level, or $30,615 gross annual income for a family of four. Income eligibility for reduced price school meals is 185% of the federal poverty level, or $43,568 gross annual income for a family of four.
While the state still ranks a concerning 46th nationally, New Jersey districts are finally making progress toward ensuring children receive school breakfast, which can help improve their chances for school success.
The New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition, along with our partners at Advocates for Children in New Jersey (ACNJ) have been spearheading efforts to feed more low-income children by working with school districts to get breakfast served after the bell. Serving breakfast after the bell is the best way to reach more children at risk for hunger with the program.
To read the report and see how your school performed, click School Breakfast Scorecard