More Low-Income Students Starting Day with Breakfast in Minnesota Schools

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Hunger Solutions Minnesota responds to national school breakfast report released Tuesday, February 9, by Food Research and Action Center. The FRAC report finds that 48 low-income children in Minnesota ate school breakfast for every 100 that received free or reduced-price lunch during the 2013 – 2014 school year, a slight increase over the 2012 – 2013 school year.

Winning Minnesota's Food Fight

"Breakfast is a ready and waiting hunger relief tool that can be expanded in Minnesota,” said Moriarty.

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, 136,113 low-income children in Minnesota participated in school breakfast, an increase of 2.4% from the previous year. This finding illustrates the value of Minnesota’s efforts to provide students with a healthy breakfast each day, says Hunger Solutions Minnesota.

The School Breakfast Scorecard measures the success of the School Breakfast Program at the national and state levels. The FRAC report finds that 48 low-income children in Minnesota ate school breakfast for every 100 that received free or reduced-price lunch during the 2013 – 2014 school year, a slight increase over the 2012 – 2013 school year. That compares to the national average of 53 low-income children who ate school breakfast for every 100 who also ate school lunch.

“While Minnesota is currently below the national average in its rate of school breakfast participation, I applaud Governor Mark Dayton’s choice to include $28 million to fund universal free school breakfast for grades Pre- K – 3rd grade in his 2015 budget. This proposal would assist an additional 83,000 students. We are also supportive of Senator Alice Johnson’s proposed legislation (Senate File 344) that would expand free breakfast to all qualified students. Hunger Solutions Minnesota and our partners will work to advocate these measures as they will effectively address child hunger and family food insecurity,” said Colleen Moriarty, executive director of Hunger Solutions Minnesota.

Low participation also means that Minnesota schools are leaving federal nutrition dollars on the table. For instance, increasing participation to 70 low-income children receiving breakfast for every 100 who eat lunch would lead to an additional $15,600,000 in federal child nutrition funding.

“Good progress is being made, but too many children in Minnesota are missing out on school breakfast and its benefits for health and education. We can and must fix this hunger gap.  Breakfast is a ready and waiting hunger relief tool that can be expanded in Minnesota,” said Moriarty. “The upcoming Child Nutrition Reauthorization, continued expansion of Community Eligibility, which allows high-poverty schools to offer free meals, more use of breakfast in the classroom programs, and continued work at the state level all provide opportunities for policymakers, advocates, state agencies and school districts to work together to make a good program even better for children.”

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About Hunger Solutions Minnesota
Hunger Solutions Minnesota works to end hunger via the Minnesota Food HelpLine and by advancing fair public nutrition policies on behalf of hungry Minnesotans. We connect Minnesota’s food shelves with funding, technical assistance and logistical support to reach the one in five families in need. Our work is made possible through the generous support of donors across the country, each sharing our commitment to ensuring no Minnesotan will struggle with food insecurity alone. Recognized as the most efficient civic non profit for two years running by the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal. For more information visit: Hungersolutions.org

About the report:
The full report, School Breakfast Scorecard, is available at http://www.frac.org. To measure the reach of the School Breakfast Program nationally and in the states, FRAC compares the number of schools and low-income children that participate in breakfast to those that participate in the National School Lunch Program. FRAC also sets a participation goal of reaching 70 low-income children with breakfast for every 100 receiving lunch as a way to gauge state progress and the costs of under-participation in the program.

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Jill Martinez
@HungerSolutions
since: 05/2008
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