Chronic Absenteeism and Breakfast After the Bell

New research shows that serving breakfast as part of the school day is a powerful tool in reducing chronic absenteeism among students.

  • Nearly eight million students in America (16%) are considered “chronically absent,” meaning they miss 3 weeks or more of school in a year.
  • In 2019, No Kid Hungry commissioned a study from leading education researchers at the University of California Santa Barbara to look into whether Breakfast After the Bell has the potential to reduce chronic absenteeism rates.
  • The study found that breakfast served after the bell can significantly reduce chronic absenteeism rates, with schools on average seeing a rate reduction of 6 percentage points.
  • In addition, exploratory analysis also found that breakfast served in the classroom can improve reading test scores and internalizing behaviors such as anxiety, loneliness, low self-esteem, and sadness in early elementary school students.