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School Breakfast Participation

Annual Scorecard Ranks States on School Breakfast Participation – FRAC, February 14, 2017
Nationally, on an average day during the 2015–2016 school year, 12.1 million students eligible to receive free and reduced-price school meals participated in school breakfast, an increase of 3.7 percent, or nearly 433,000 children from the previous school year, according to FRAC's annual School Breakfast Scorecard and School Breakfast: Making it Work in Large School Districts reports. “While we are certainly happy progress is being made, there is still much room for improvement,” said Jim Weill, president, FRAC. The top two performers in the Scorecard — West Virginia and New Mexico — exceeded FRAC’s goal of reaching 70 low-income children with school breakfast for every 100 who ate school lunch.
   

N.J. increases rank in U.S. for feeding students breakfast – NJ.com, February 14, 2017
New Jersey increased the number of low-income students receiving school breakfast, according to FRAC’s School Breakfast Scorecard. The state now ranks 19th in the nation for breakfast participation in 2015–16, up from 23rd in 2014–15. Policy makers in the state have pushed for breakfast to be served after the school bell in recent years, and participation has grown, said Cecilia Zalkind, president of Advocates for Children of New Jersey. Still, 300,000 students are eligible for the meal but don’t participate. “This year, we will continue to work with districts to bring breakfast after the bell to more schools, especially high schools where participation remains relatively low,” said Adele LaTourette, director, New Jersey Anti-Hunger Coalition.
   

McCook breakfast program welcome exception to trend – McCook Gazette, February 14, 2017
FRAC’s annual school breakfast report shows that Nebraska ranks 48th out of 50 states and D.C.  for the percentage of students participating in school breakfast. Although there was a slight increase in the state’s breakfast participation, “our state must do more to improve opportunity for children by making sure they’re getting a nutritious meal to start the day,” said Eric Savaiona of Nebraska Appleseed. McCook Public Schools found that offering “grab and go” breakfasts, which allow students to eat in the classroom, increased meal participation from about 75 students to about 190 students.
   

West Virginia tops nation in percentage of students who eat breakfast at school – The Register-Herald, February 16, 2017
For the third year in a row, West Virginia is the top state in the country for school breakfast participation, according to FRAC. “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,” said Dr. Michael Martirano, West Virginia Superintendent of Schools. Breakfast delivery strategies, such as breakfast in the classroom, have helped many schools double their breakfast participation rate, according to Kristin Anderson of the state department of education.
   

Scorecard shows Arizona ranks 29th on annual school breakfast participation – Scottsdale Independent, February 14, 2017
In Arizona, 54 low-income children received school breakfast for every 100 that received free or reduced-price school lunch during the 2015–16 school year, reports FRAC. The national average is 56 students. “We are committed to increasing school breakfast participation so that more children in Arizona are starting their day with the nutrition they need to learn and thrive,” said Angie Rodgers, president and CEO of the Association of Arizona Food Banks.
   

Newburgh school district breakfast program ranked 4th in nation – Record Online, February 16, 2017
Newburgh school district in New York ranked high for school breakfast participation in the 2015–2016 school year, according to FRAC’s report on school breakfast in large school districts. Schools in the district have seen significant increases in participation since offering “grab and go” meals and allowing students to eat breakfast in the classroom. Gardnertown Fundamental Magnet School saw breakfast participation increase from 21 percent of students on an average day in 2014–15 to 81.5 percent in November 2016.
   

Summer Food Service Program (SFSP)

Statewide summer food service program summit held in Columbus – Circleville Herald, February 11, 2017
A recent statewide summit meeting in Ohio, which focused on expanding the number of SFSP sites in the state, drew more than 250 people. “Many of our most vulnerable kids are going underserved in the summer,” said Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, which partnered with the Mid-Ohio Foodbank and the Ohio Department of Education for the event. “[W]e’re called to do everything within our power to maximize the options we do have available to make sure kids in low-income families don’t go hungry while school is out.”
   

Education Department seeks partners to feed kids this summer – The Fayette Tribune, February 13, 2017
The West Virginia Department of Education is seeking organizations to help feed children during the summer months through SFSP. An average of 178,000 West Virginia children (63 percent) receive free or reduced-price school meals, yet only about 10,000 participate in SFSP. “In 2016, 485 Summer Food Program sites provided nutritious meals to children in West Virginia and we believe many organizations will renew their commitment for 2017,” said Amanda Harrison, executive director of the Office of Child Nutrition.

   

Health Care Costs

America’s biggest worry isn’t terrorism or crime – McLatchy DC, February 7, 2017
A new Monmouth University poll found that the number one concern for American families is health care costs. “It’s also worth noting that issues that have been dominating the news, such as immigration and national security, rank very low on the list of items that keep Americans up at night,” said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. Health care was the top concern regardless of income or partisan identity.

   

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