FRANKFORT, Ky. — The School Breakfast Program ensured 292,773 low-income students in Kentucky started their day ready to learn in the 2018-2019 school year, a .9% percent increase from the prior year according to the School Breakfast Scorecard, a report released by the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC). Nationally, 12.4 million low-income students participated in school breakfast in the 2018-2019 school year.
FRAC’s Scorecard ranks states and the District of Columbia on the rate of participation of low-income children in the School Breakfast Program compared to the rate of participation of low-income children in the National School Lunch Program. Kentucky’s school breakfast program reached 67.4 low-income children for every 100 who participated in school lunch. This is close to the ambitious but attainable national guidepost of serving 70 low-income children school breakfast for every 100 who received school lunch in the 2018–2019 school year.
“I am excited to see Kentucky maintaining an upward trajectory for breakfast participation,” said Lauren Moore, Director of the Kentucky Department of Education’s Division of School and Community Nutrition. “This reflects the continued commitment made by our sponsors to identify and serve the needs of Kentucky children.”
Kentucky’s ranking can be attributed in large part to the widespread implementation of community eligibility, which allows high-poverty schools to offer breakfast and lunch at no charge to all students, and alternative breakfast models that meet kids where they are already learning and congregating, like breakfast in the classroom. These two approaches combined can dramatically move the needle on school breakfast participation.
“School breakfast is one of the best ways to boost student achievement, reduce absenteeism, and improve student nutrition,” said Kate McDonald, KY Kids Eat Coordinator at Feeding Kentucky. “We know that when breakfast is moved out of the cafeteria and served in common areas and classrooms, participation in the program increases and more children reap the benefits. We urge more schools in Kentucky to adopt this approach.”
During National School Breakfast Week, March 2-6, Feeding Kentucky and The Dairy Alliance are recognizing School Breakfast Champions that go over and beyond to make school breakfast work for kids. The Class of 2020 Breakfast Champions is comprised of cafeteria managers, principals, teachers, and others who are committed to growing the school breakfast program and ensuring more kids are ready to learn.
— Feeding Kentucky
For more news from Kentucky, click here.