The Policy and Advocacy arm of the Food Bank of Delaware raises awareness about public policy issues on the state and national levels related to agriculture, food security and nutrition that directly affect the citizens we serve.

Our goal is to garner community support and educate community members on the importance and value of becoming involved in the political process. To support these efforts, we work with community members from all walks of life to empower and educate them on how to be an advocate. Our long-term vision is the collaborative development of an equitable, accessible, and just food system for the state of Delaware’s New Castle, Kent and Sussex counties.

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To learn more about our advocacy efforts, please contact Chad Robinson at crobinson@fbd.org or (302) 393-2010.

Our current projects:

Increasing Statewide Participation of School Breakfast in Delaware’s schools

In an effort to extend the state’s successful public school breakfast program to more students, Rep. Ed Osienski introduced legislation that would move Delaware schools to implement new plans for serving breakfast beyond a traditional cafeteria meal service.

While schools typically serve breakfast before school starts, many students may miss this opportunity to eat breakfast for a variety of IMG_6059webreasons, such as tight morning arrival times and the social stigma attached to the traditional school breakfast program. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, as many as 12 percent of school-aged children skip breakfast.

IMG_6055webHouse Bill 408 would direct Delaware schools to adopt proven “Alternative Service Models” that have been shown to increase the number of students who eat breakfast at school, which in turn leads to better attendance rates, a reduction in disciplinary problems, and improved test scores, research has shown.

 

Alternatives to the traditional school breakfast service include “Breakfast in the Classroom” and “Second Chance Breakfast,” which give students the opportunity to obtain breakfast for a period of time after school starts, and “Grab and Go Breakfast,” in which breakfast items are made available at carts or kiosks in other areas of the school apart from the cafeteria.

Schools across the country have demonstrated the effectiveness of alternative school breakfast service. The Los Angeles Unified School A student shows off his breakfastDistrict saw participation rates rise by 89 percent a year after implementing “Breakfast in the Classroom” in most of its schools. LA schools with alternative breakfast service saw better attendance rates than schools with traditional breakfast programs.

Under HB 408, all Delaware public schools that participate in the federal National School Lunch Program would implement alternative breakfast models by school year 2017-18. High-poverty schools that currently provide meals to all students at no cost would be required to offer alternative breakfast service starting in school year 2016-17.

This legislation has the support of The Food Bank of Delaware, the Delaware State Education Association and the state Department of Education. The Controller General’s office has offered a preliminary fiscal note for HB 408 of less than $50,000.