Press Release: More children in Oregon getting breakfast at school

Contact: Lesley Nelson

Child Hunger Prevention Manager

Email, (503) 595-5501, ext. 307

For Immediate Release

More children in Oregon getting breakfast at school; further progress is Imperative to ensure a healthy start

PORTLAND, Oregon (January 15, 2013) — More low-income children are getting a nutritious breakfast in the morning, according to the annual School Breakfast Scorecard released by the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC). During the 2011-2012 school year, Oregon schools served breakfast to an additional 5,727 low-income children.

“Breakfast improves school attendance and student behavior, boosts learning and test scores, and improves student health,” said Lesley Nelson, Child Hunger Prevention Manager at Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon. “This progress lays the groundwork for Oregon and its school districts to feed even more children a nutritious breakfast each day.”

However, Nelson says Oregon still needs to serve breakfast to more kids. Currently, the state is serving breakfast to 52 out of every 100 students who eat lunch through the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). If Oregon reached the goal of serving breakfast to 70 out of every 100, it would serve an additional 39,835 children and gain $9,733,444 in additional federal funds for local communities.

The School Breakfast Scorecard measures the reach of the School Breakfast Program nationally and by state. This year’s report found that more than 10.5 million children nationwide received a free or reduced-price breakfast each school day during the 2011-2012 school year, an increase of 738,869 children from the previous year.

“This progress indicates Oregon is headed in the right direction, but even more important is sustaining momentum and reaching more children with school breakfast,” said Nelson. “Improving participation rates in breakfast will help address hunger and lead to healthier children who can succeed in school.” 

A companion analysis by FRAC, School Breakfast: Making it Work in Large School Districts, examined school breakfast participation and policies in 57 school districts across the country, including Portland Public Schools. Several strategies continue to contribute to higher participation rates. Chief among them is moving breakfast service out of the cafeteria. The report found that school districts with the highest participation rates allow students to eat breakfast in their classrooms at the beginning of the school day. 

About the report:

The full report, School Breakfast Scorecard, is available at 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 NSLP. FRAC also sets a participation goal of reaching 70 children with breakfast for every 100 receiving lunch as a way to gauge state progress and the costs of under-participation in the program.

Notes to Editors:

Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon is a nonprofit organization that envisions an Oregon where everyone is healthy and thriving, with access to affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food. To bring that vision into reality, they raise awareness about hunger, connect people to nutrition programs, and advocate for systemic changes that end hunger before it begins. PHFO provides critical leadership to address hunger through the 5-year plan, Ending Hunger Before it Begins: Oregon’s Call to Action.

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