December 22, 2020
During the holidays and all year long, millions of individuals and families who struggle against hunger are able to access healthy food with support from the federal nutrition programs. This year, the federal nutrition programs have played a critical role in ensuring people can continue to put food on the table during the twin COVID-19 public health and economic crises.
To celebrate the nation’s nutrition safety net, FRAC is releasing a seven-part “Remember This December” series that will highlight the impact of seven important federal nutrition programs.
This is the sixth installment of the series, which focuses on school breakfast. Read the previous installment on summer meals.
The School Breakfast Program provides millions of children a nutritious morning meal each school day. School breakfast is a critical support for struggling families trying to stretch limited resources and provides children a significant portion of the daily nutrition they need to learn and be healthy. Find out more about the impact of school breakfast below:
- School breakfast helps to fuel children’s minds and bodies: Throughout the 2018–2019 school year, nearly 12.4 million low-income children on an average day participated in the School Breakfast Program, equipping them with the nutrition they need to boost their ability to learn effectively; support positive social, emotional, and behavioral development; and improve their health and general well-being.
- School breakfast matters in every corner of the country: The School Breakfast Program is important in every community, including rural communities, where students are more likely than their peers in metropolitan areas to live in food-insecure households.
- Schools are making breakfast more accessible through breakfast in the classroom: A growing number of schools are moving breakfast out of the cafeteria and making it part of the school day to ensure that students are able to participate. FRAC has worked with partners to develop tools [1, 2, 3] to support principals and educators in implementing and sustaining Breakfast in the Classroom and other alternative breakfast service models at their schools. This school year, breakfast in the classroom offers the added benefit of supporting social distancing, eliminating the need for the students to eat together in the cafeteria.
- Community eligibility is a win for everyone: The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) is a powerful tool that allows high-poverty schools to offer school breakfast and lunch at no charge to all students. Community eligibility reduces administrative work for schools, increases school meal participation, removes the stigma that can surround accessing a free or reduced-price school breakfast or lunch, and makes it easier for schools to offer breakfast in the classroom. The provision is popular with schools. Nationally, 30,633 schools — 69 percent of those eligible — are now participating in the Community Eligibility Provision. This is an increase of 1,910 schools since the 2018–2019 school year, when 28,757 schools participated.
Click to tweet: #RememberThisDecember that hunger is solvable with the federal nutrition programs, including the School Breakfast Program! Learn more about the critical support #schoolbreakfast provides w/ @fractweets latest blog: http://bit.ly/37ITms2
Watch our video on the importance of the federal nutrition programs.