The School Nutrition Association’s theme for this year’s NSBW is “Be a Star” – is an opportunity for school nutrition professionals to celebrate the important role school breakfast plays in helping the stars of tomorrow. SNA offers a variety of activities and tools to help promote the theme.
We do have good reason to celebrate school breakfast. According to the just-published (January 2013) School Breakfast Scorecard from the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), the School Breakfast Program has achieved some significant milestones this past year.
In the 2011-2012 school year, for the first time nationally, more than half of all low-income students who participated in school lunch also participated in school breakfast. The number of schools participating in the School Breakfast Program also grew, and for the first time more than 90 percent of schools that operate the National School Lunch Program also offered the School Breakfast Program—up from less than half of schools two decades ago. More than 10.5 million children received a free or reduced-price breakfast each school day during the 2011-2012 school year, an increase of 738,869 children from the previous year.
As noted in the Scorecard’s Executive Summary:
“These are important milestones, but even more important is the continued momentum toward reaching more and more children with school breakfast. Efforts by Congress, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, state agencies, school districts, and advocates have had a tremendous impact on increasing participation rates through outreach and start-up funding and by eliminating barriers for low-income families and streamlining administrative processes for schools. In the 2011-2012 school year, these efforts, combined with increased need in the aftermath of the recession, produced record gains in low-income children participating in the School Breakfast Program.”
Concluding the summary, a reminder and important call to action from FRAC: “While states have continued to make impressive gains this school year, there is still much progress to be made in order to meet the urgent need.” Is your School Breakfast Program feeding enough hungry children? Do you have a Breakfast in the Classroom program? Check out our Breakfast Solutions to see how E S Foods can help expand your School Breakfast Program.