Home > Blog > Allies for Children Signs Letter Urging Elected Officials to Support School Breakfast

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Today, Allies for Children joined more than 40 organizations from across Pennsylvania to show support for the $2 million school breakfast initiative included in Governor Tom Wolf’s 2017-18 budget proposal. The letter was delivered to legislators and administration officials this morning in these final days of the April session. We want elected officials to understand the importance of school breakfast as they enter budget negotiations in the weeks to come.

Recently, Allies for Children and Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank published a report about school breakfast consumption in Allegheny County and how schools can utilize alternative breakfast models to combat childhood hunger.

Dear Legislators:

We urge you to support the $2 million budget allocation for alternative breakfast delivery models, to make sure more Pennsylvania students are getting school breakfast.

Right now, 1 in 5 kids in Pennsylvania struggles with hunger. School breakfast is critical to ensure that kids get the basic nutrition they need, but too many kids who may need a school breakfast are missing out. Today, less than half of kids who qualify for in-school breakfast are actually receiving it. It doesn’t have to be that way. This is a solvable problem.

Stronger student body: It’s important for our kids. When children consistently get the nutrition they need, they feel better, they learn more, and they grow up stronger. Research shows that kids who get school breakfast score better on standardized tests. Attendance rates improve. Fewer students spend precious class time at the nurse with stomach pangs or headaches. Behavior improves, leading to calmer classrooms and fewer trips to the principal’s office.

Healthy workforce: Connecting kids with healthy food each morning isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s the smart thing to do. Feeding hungry children is a first step in setting them on a path out of poverty. It helps them grow up to become Pennsylvania’s strong workforce of tomorrow, fulfilling their potential as doctors, teachers, athletes and entrepreneurs.

Practical solutions: One way to ensure kids have access to school breakfast is to change when it is served. Simply making this meal a part of the regular school day, the way lunch is, ensures kids can get the nutrition they need. This proven approach is the most efficient and effective way of making sure students in need have the nutrition to fuel their bodies and brains.

As a state, we spend a lot of time, effort and money on ways to better educate our children. But if our children are too hungry to learn, their success is hampered before we’ve even begun. We are urging Pennsylvania legislators to support the Governor’s budget proposal to make sure more students are getting school breakfast. Let’s work together to make sure every child has the food they need to stay focused and ready to learn.



Action for Healthy Kids

Rob Bisceglie, Chief Executive Officer

AFT Pennsylvania

Ted Kirsch, President

Allies for Children

Patrick Dowd, Executive Director

American Diabetes Association, Western Pennsylvania

Julie Keller Heverly, Executive Director

American Diabetes Association, Eastern Pennsylvania

Kevin J. Kelly, Ed.D., Executive Director

American Nutritional Security

Aryanna Berringer, Founder

Central Pennsylvania Food Bank

Joe Arthur, Executive Director

Chester County Food Bank

Larry Welsch, Executive Director

Coalition Against Hunger

Laura Wall, Executive Director

Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley

Alan L. Jennings, Executive Director

Community Food Warehouse of Mercer County

Lori Weston, Executive Director

Earthen Vessels Outreach

Marilyn Chaney, Executive Director

Feeding Pennsylvania

Jane Clements-Smith, Executive Director

Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

Lisa Scales, President & Chief Executive Officer

Hunger Free Lancaster County

Dr. Jill Koser, Chairperson, Schools Committee

Hunger-Free Pennsylvania

Sheila Christopher, Executive Director

Indiana County Community Action Program

Michelle Faught, Executive Director

Just Harvest: A Center for Action Against Hunger

Ken Regal, Executive Director

Lutheran Advocacy Ministry in Pennsylvania

Tracey DePasquale, Director


Sue Daugherty, RD, LDN, Chief Executive Officer

Northern Berks Community Garden

Pastor Bruce Osterhout of Zion’s Lutheran Church in Shoemakersville

Partnership for Better Health

Becca Raley, Executive Director

PennAg Industries Association

Christian R. Herr, Executive Vice President

Pennsylvania Association of School Nurses and Practitioners

Judith Morgitan, M.Ed, BSN, CSN, President

Pennsylvania Council of Churches

The Rev. Sandra L. Strauss, Director of Advocacy and Ecumenical Outreach

Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association

Alex Baloga, Vice President of External Relations

Pennsylvania Principals Association

Paul M. Healey, Ph.D., Executive Director

Pennsylvania PTA

Debbie Munson, President

Pennsylvania School Boards Association

Nathan G. Mains, Executive Director

Pennsylvania State Education Association

Jerry Oleksiak, President


Glenn Bergman, Executive Director

Public Citizens for Children and Youth

Donna Cooper, Executive Director

School Nutrition Association of Pennsylvania

Pamela Gallagher, President

Share Food Program

Steveanna Wynn, Executive Director

Share Our Strength

Bernadette Downey, Senior Manager, Advocacy

Southwestern PA Food Security Partnership

Dr. Karen Dreyer, Director

The Food Trust

Yael Lehmann, Executive Director

United Way of Pennsylvania

Kristen Rotz, President

Vetri Community Partnership

Marlene L. Olshan, Chief Executive Officer

Westmoreland County Food Bank

Kris M. Douglas, Chief Executive Officer

World Hunger Task Force, Upper Susquehanna Synod

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)

The Revs. Theodore Cockley and Karl Runser, III, Co-Chairs

York County Food Bank

Jennifer Brillhart, MPA, CFRE, Executive Director

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