Breakfast After the Bell

Breakfast After the Bell is Coming to Royal Schools!

Beginning January 6, 2020, all Royal schools will implement the Breakfast After the Bell program. Below is helpful information and answers to questions about this new program and its impact on Royal schools and students. Feel free to contact Kim Mead in our Food Services Department with any other questions at 

What is the National School Breakfast Program and Breakfast After the Bell?

The National School Breakfast Program is a federal school nutrition program, just like school lunch. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers the School Breakfast Program at the federal level. There are many ways to make breakfast part of the school day with Breakfast After the Bell. Three Breakfast After the Bell models that demonstrate the most success are Breakfast In the Classroom, Grab and Go, and Second Chance Breakfast. The key to each of these models is that breakfast is served during the school day, after the instructional bell, in a place where students are together.

Now part of Washington State law (RCW 28A.235) Breakfast After the Bell (BAB) is defined as breakfast that is offered to students after the beginning of the school day. Schools must make BAB accessible to all students and allow students a reasonable amount of time to eat their meal. Additionally, students must be freely encouraged to participate in the BAB meal service without fear of being late to class or singled out.

How much does a student have to pay for a BAB breakfast?

In 2015, All Royal schools were approved as Community Eligible Provision (CEP) schools. What this means is that ALL students in Royal School District may eat one FREE breakfast each day.

Is every student able to receive a BAB breakfast?

Yes. All students are encouraged to participate in Breakfast After the Bell.

How much is the Breakfast After the Bell program going to cost Royal School District?

Breakfast After the Bell is operated in the same manner as the school lunch program, and all meals are reimbursable for the district. The BAB program does not cost the district any additional money. Check out the No Kid Hungry handout titled, “How School Meals Reach Kids” for more information on funding.

Why Are We Doing This?

  • It's the law! The Washington Kids Ready to Learn Act of 2018 expanded breakfast opportunities by requiring Breakfast After the Bell programs in a number of schools. Located in RCW 28A.235, the law requires that school districts with at least 70% or more students eligible for free or reduced-price meals must establish a BAB program beginning in the 2019-2020 school year.
  • No child should start the school day hungry! Studies show that children who skip breakfast are at an academic disadvantage: They have slower memory recall, make more errors and are more likely to repeat a grade.
  • Millions of kids in America don’t get enough food at home. 1 out of 6 kids struggle with hunger. There are hungry kids in every kind of community, from big cities to rural towns to wealthy suburbs.
  • Hungry children cannot learn. Childhood hunger negatively affects health, academic achievement and future economic prosperity. Students who eat school breakfast have been shown to miss less school, get better grades and are more likely to graduate high school. (Check out the research page!)
  • Breakfast After the Bell reaches more students than traditional cafeteria breakfast. Fewer than half of the kids who get a free or reduced-price school lunch, on average, get a free or reduced-price breakfast.
  • Multiple barriers prevent students from getting traditional cafeteria breakfast (before the bell). Barriers include buses arriving late at school; stigma that school breakfast is for “poor” kids; and students preferring to socialize instead of eat. Additionally, not all children are able to eat at home. Whether they come from a family with a tight budget, are too busy, or simply have a poor appetite in the morning, not all children get the energy and nutrients they need to get a healthy start to the morning.

What will this look like at each school?

At each Royal school building, “traditional breakfast” (served before school) will continue to be offered. For Breakfast After the Bell, school nutrition staff will pack breakfast meals in bags to be picked up by students either from the cafeteria or kiosks on the way to class. Nutrition staff distributes meals and students are counted via the point of sale (POS) system. Students who have already eaten breakfast before school or who do not wish to participate in Breakfast After the Bell can go to class.

Red Rock Elementary AND Royal Intermediate School – Second Chance Breakfast

After the bell rings at 8:20 AM, students will have 15 minutes (between 8:20-8:35 AM) to eat in the cafeteria prior to their first class.

Royal Middle AND High School – Grab & Go Breakfast

Beginning at 8:15 AM when the warning bell rings, RMS and RHS students who do not receive a traditional breakfast before school have the opportunity to pick up a Grab and Go breakfast from the designated kiosk. Students can eat their Grab and Go breakfast on their way to class or at their desks until 8:35 AM.

What the Research Says

Despite the benefits of school breakfast, it is often underutilized. There are several barriers that may prevent students from eating school breakfast when it’s served in the cafeteria before the official start of the school day:

  • Students arriving late to school due to bus or carpool schedules;
  • Stigma that school breakfast is for low-income students;
  • Many students may not be hungry first thing in the morning;
  • Students prefer to socialize rather than eat alone in the morning.

Breakfast After the Bell (BAB), where breakfast is served after the official start of the school day, addresses those barriers and is one of the most effective ways to significantly boost school breakfast participation. BAB shifts the time breakfast is served so that it’s a part of the school day and moves breakfast from the cafeteria to where students are, like classrooms and common areas.