[Press release] Many More Low-Income Children Starting the Day with School Breakfast, Find New Reports from the Food Research and Action Center
School breakfast continues to make significant gains in communities across the U.S., according to two new analyses by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) released today, which look at school breakfast participation at the district, state, and national level. During the 2013-2014 school year, an average of 11.2 million low-income children ate a healthy morning meal each day at school, an increase of 320,000 children from the previous school year, according to FRAC’s School Breakfast Scorecard (pdf) on state trends and School Breakfast — Making it Work in Large Districts (pdf).
FRAC measures School Breakfast Program participation by comparing the number of low-income children receiving school breakfast to the number of such children receiving school lunch. By this measure, nationally 53 low-income children ate school breakfast for every 100 who also ate school lunch, an increase from the previous school year’s ratio of 52:100, and far above the 43:100 ratio of a decade earlier.
Progress is being made, but still nearly half of low-income students in the U.S. are missing out on school breakfast and its well-established benefits for health and education. Research demonstrates the profound impact school breakfast has on improving nutrition and ensuring children start the day ready to learn.
“More low-income children are eating breakfast, and a large part of this success is due to more schools and states adopting proven strategies to increase participation,” said FRAC President Jim Weill. “FRAC’s research has shown that participation grows in schools that offer breakfast in the classroom or from ‘grab and go’ carts, or that use other creative ways to get breakfast to hungry students. The new Community Eligibility Provision to expand the program in high poverty schools also is showing promise. We know what works, and more children are eating breakfast as a result. ”
Not only are more children starting the day with school breakfast, but they also are eating healthier meals as a result of new nutrition standards which went into full effect in the 2013-2014 school year.
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