The annual national school breakfast report released today by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) finds that, on an average school day in 2013-2014, 1,556,343 low-income children in Texas ate school breakfast, an increase of more than 33,000 over the previous year.
“This improvement reflects Texas’ commitment to ensure students start each day nourished and ready to learn,” said Celia Cole, CEO of Feeding Texas.
The School Breakfast Scorecard measures the success of the School Breakfast Program at the national and state levels. The FRAC report finds that sixty-two percent of low-income children in Texas ate school breakfast during the 2013-2014 school year, a slight increase over the previous school year.
Nationally, fifty-three percent of low-income children ate school breakfast, compared to fifty-two percent in the previous school year. This translated into nearly 320,000 more low-income children eating school breakfast – a significant jump from the forty-three percent participation rate a decade ago.
In 2013, the Texas state legislature passed a new law to boost breakfast participation by requiring high-need schools to make it available to all students at no charge. As the new law did not go into effect until the 2014-15 school year, its impact will be fully captured by next year’s report.
“We urge schools districts to keep up this important work, and to keep improving participation rates so even more children can benefit from the health and educational benefits of breakfast,” said Cole.
Several strategies are proven to improve participation rates. The top ten performing districts in the nation – including Houston and San Antonio ISDs – all offer breakfast at no charge to all students and use alternative school breakfast service models such as breakfast in the classroom. These districts surpassed FRAC’s goal of reaching seventy percent of low-income children with school breakfast.
The full report is available on FRAC’s website. Feeding Texas leads a unified effort for a hunger-free Texas. Learn more and find your local food bank