Significant progress in Nevada's effort to reach more low-income children with school breakfast was made, as Nevada served 44.5 low-income children breakfast for every 100 that received lunch during the 2011-2012 school year, according to two new national reports released today. An increase from the previous school year when only 33.7:100 received breakfast, this progress lays the groundwork for school districts in Nevada to reach even more children with school breakfast this school year and next.
It's clear that serving breakfast in the classroom and more generally breakfast after the bell is the most successful way to increase participation, and we encourage more schools to move to this model," said Cherie Jamason, president and CEO of the Food Bank of Northern Nevada. "We are thrilled to see this jump in the numbers of low income children eating breakfast at school in Nevada and we are excited to watch these numbers continue to climb. Far too many children in Nevada continue to come to school without the nutrition they need to sustain learning. "Start your head – Eat Breakfast!" is not just a slogan."
The School Breakfast Scorecard, released annually by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), measures the reach of the School Breakfast Program nationally and by state. The FRAC report found that school breakfast nationally hit two milestones in participation during 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 and more than 90 percent of schools that operate the National School Lunch Program also offered the School Breakfast Program. Overall, 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.
A companion analysis by FRAC, School Breakfast: Making it Work in Large School Districts, examined school breakfast participation and policies in 57 school districts across the country, including Clark County in Nevada, which saw more than a 20% increase in children eating breakfast at school, a result specifically tied to their new "breakfast after the bell" policy for targeted schools. Washoe County has done an outstanding job of implementing breakfast after the bell in eligible schools, with breakfast participation increasing by more than 60% over the last two years. Breakfast is served after the bell in 60% of severe need schools and participation in these schools is better than 85%.
From Food Bank of Northern Nevada