New Report Shows School Breakfast Participation Continues to Grow in Washington, D.C.
D.C. Healthy Schools Act Ensures Low-Income Children Have Access to Healthy Meals at School
For Immediate Release
Contact: Sara McGovern, firstname.lastname@example.org; 202-640-1089
Washington, D.C. – January 23, 2014 – More low-income children in Washington, D.C. are starting the day with a healthy morning meal at school, according to a new national report released today, further demonstrating the positive impact of the D.C. Healthy School Act. In school year 2012 – 2013, D.C. led the nation in connecting low-income children to the health and educational benefits of school breakfast.
The School Breakfast Scorecard, a report released annually by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), found that D.C. served 70 low-income children breakfast for every 100 that received lunch during the 2012-2013 school year, an increase of 15.6 percent from the 2011 – 2012 school year. The FRAC report notes that D.C. is the only state to meet FRAC’s goal of 70 low-income students participating in school breakfast per every 100 participating in school lunch.
This success can be attributed to the passage of the D.C. Healthy Schools Act in 2010 and the work of advocates, D.C. councilmembers, school leaders, and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education that resulted in a widespread implementation of breakfast in the classroom. Serving breakfast in the classroom removes many of the barriers that prevent children from participating, and is a strategy proven to increase participation. The Act requires schools to make breakfast free to all D.C. public and public charter school students and to serve free breakfast through alternative serving models after the school day begins at schools where more than 40 percent of students are eligible for free and reduced-price meals.
“Because of the D.C. Healthy Schools Act and the efforts of the city in successfully implementing a model where all students - regardless of family income – are offered free breakfast, we are ensuring that D.C. students start the day with full stomachs and ready to learn,” said D.C. Hunger Solutions Director Alex Ashbrook. “D.C. Hunger Solutions has been proud to support the implementation of this successful Act by helping schools adopt breakfast in the classroom programs.”
D.C. also participated in the Community Eligibility Provision, which increased participation in the School Breakfast Program by allowing high poverty schools to provide free school breakfast and lunch to all students. In the states participating in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), average daily school breakfast participation increased by five percent, compared to 2.5 percent in other states. D.C. scored the highest increase of any of the CEP states at 15.6 percent.
Nationally, FRAC’s School Breakfast Scorecard found that on an average day, 10.8 million low-income children participated in school breakfast, an increase of more than 311,000 from the previous year. For the second consecutive year, over half of all low-income students who participated in school lunch also received school breakfast. The 2012 – 2013 school year saw 51.9 participants in the School Breakfast Program for every 100 participants in the National School Lunch Program, an increase from 50.4:100 during the 2011 – 2012 school year.
About the report:
The full report, School Breakfast Scorecard, is available at www.frac.org. To measure the reach of the School Breakfast Program nationally and in the states, FRAC compares the number of schools and low-income children that participate in breakfast to those that participate in the National School Lunch Program. FRAC also sets a participation goal of reaching 60 children with breakfast for every 100 receiving lunch as a way to gauge state progress and the costs of underparticipation in the program.