Maryland Meals for Achievement (MMFA) is a successful program that provides universal access to breakfast in the classroom in high-poverty schools. Students at MMFA schools demonstrate better educational performance, improved health, and fewer behavioral issues. In addition, MMFA schools have fewer suspensions, higher test scores, and fewer tardy students.
While 82% of eligible elementary schools participate in MMFA, only 24% of eligible Maryland high schools participate, mostly because of insufficient funding and the requirement that breakfast be served in the classrooms. In fact, there are 28 eligible MMFA high schools in the City of Baltimore, but none of them are participating in the program.
HB 257 will ensure that 90,000 students in 93 high-poverty high schools across the state can start their day ready to learn. I was honored to be the floor leader on this bill and to defend it on the House floor before a final vote was taken. I am proud that my colleagues and I were able to pass this legislation.