Schools will have to review the need for a breakfast program if a legislative panel has its way. The House Health and Environment Standing Committee Thursday approved HB236.
Utah has "above average" numbers of mothers who work and working mothers who have small children.That, combined with a hunger task force study that found thousands of Utahns may not have adequate food resources, prompted Rep. Sheryl Allen, R-Bountiful, to sponsor the bill.
Because the school breakfast program is federally funded, there wouldn't be a cost to the state, she said.
The bill received support from the Utah Education Association and the Utah PTA.
The schools would look at specific factors to determine if a school breakfast program would benefit the children and improve their ability to learn. Schools that didn't find a need would be required to conduct a second audit later before they could opt out of the program completely.
Sherianne Cotterell, principal of Lincoln Elementary School, said that about 400 of the 620 students use the program. And she said that "we know enough now about the brain to know that nutrition is critical to the brain functioning . . . and developing properly."