The annual School Breakfast Scorecard released was released this week by the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC, a national anti-hunger advocacy group). The Scorecard ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia on the participation of low-income children in the School Breakfast Program, and finds that 65,246 low-income children in Utah participated in school breakfast on an average school day in 2015–2016. This represents an 7.7% percent increase over the previous year.
The national School Breakfast Program makes it possible for all school children in the U.S. to receive a nutritious breakfast every school day.
The report finds that 38 low-income children in Utah ate school breakfast for every 100 that received free or reduced-price school lunch during the 2015 – 2016 school year. This is below the national average of 56 low-income children eating school breakfast for every 100 who received school lunch in the 2015–2016 school year.
School breakfast participation nationally has been growing, and several strategies exist to increase it further, including the use of alternative breakfast models, such as breakfast in the classroom, “grab and go,” and second chance breakfast. Utah’s increased school breakfast participation rank can be linked to an increase in alternative service models across the state. In spite of this increase, Utah continues to be ranked 51st in the country, and this can be attributed in large part to the lack of widespread implementation of alternative service models across the state.
“We are committed to increasing school breakfast participation so that more children in Utah are starting their day with the nutrition they need to learn and thrive” said Marti Woolford, child nutrition advocate, Utahns Against Hunger. “School breakfast means less hunger, better health, and improved educational outcomes for our children. We will continue to work with schools across the state to improve our school breakfast participation rate so even more children can focus on learning, and not on their growling stomachs.”
About the School Breakfast Scorecard
This report measures the reach of the School Breakfast Program in the 2015–2016 school year — nationally and in each state — based on a variety of metrics, and examines the impact of select trends and policies on program participation. On an average school day, 12.1 million low-income children participated in the School Breakfast Program in school year 2015–2016. Participation among low-income children increased by just over 433,000 students, or 3.7 percent, over the previous school year. Read the School Breakfast Scorecard in full.
About School Breakfast: Making it Work in Large School Districts
This report examines School Breakfast Program participation rates and trends in 73 of America’s largest school districts. These districts saw a net increase of 101,548 students eating school breakfast in school year 2015–2016, compared to the prior school year. Two-thirds of the districts expanded their school breakfast participation from the previous school year. Read School Breakfast: Making it Work in Large School Districts in full.