CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) announced that for the third year in a row, West Virginia is ranked first in the nation in school breakfast participation. The School Breakfast Scorecard released today ranks states on participation of low-income children in the national School Breakfast Program.
“Children perform at their best when they receive proper nutrition," said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael Martirano. “We must continue to ensure our children are well fed and ready to learn. Part of our success is that our school breakfast and lunch programs are not viewed as an interruption to the school day, but rather, an integral part of the education process.”
Nationally, on an average school day, 56 low-income children participated in the School Breakfast Program for every 100 participating in the National School Lunch Program, up from 54.3 the previous school year and 50.4 percent in the 2011–12 school year. The report finds that 83.9 low-income children in West Virginia ate school breakfast for every 100 that received free or reduced-price school lunch during the 2015-16 school year. That exceeded FRAC’s goal of reaching 70 low-income children with school breakfast for every 100 who ate school lunch.
“The West Virginia Department of Education has partnered with legislators, community members and schools to ensure that every child receives the nutrition they need to succeed in school,” said Amanda Harrison, the West Virginia Department of Education’s Executive Director of the Office of Child Nutrition. “Better nutrition for West Virginia’s children doesn’t just impact their school performance; it impacts their overall health and wellbeing. We will continue to work closely with schools to remain leaders in breakfast participation, and help our state’s children thrive.”
During the past several years, the West Virginia Department of Education Office of Child Nutrition has focused on increasing school breakfast participation. West Virginia schools provide students with a minimum of two nutritious meals per day and, where feasible, at no cost to the student. As a result of the efforts of Office of Child Nutrition, the federal revenue for the School Breakfast Program in West Virginia has increased by over $6.4 million. Schools have implemented innovative breakfast delivery strategies such as Grab-N-Go Breakfast, Breakfast in the Classroom and Breakfast After First Period. Many schools have doubled their breakfast participation rates, dramatically increasing federal reimbursements and improving food service operations.
About the School Breakfast Scorecard
The School Breakfast Scorecard measures the reach of the School Breakfast Program in the 2015–16 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 2015–16. Participation among low-income children increased by just over 433,000 students, or 3.7 percent, over the previous school year.
The full report can be found by visiting: http://frac.org/wp-content/uploads/school-breakfast-scorecard-sy-2015-2016.pdf