Newburgh Enlarged City School District (NY), Newark Public Schools (NJ) Featured as Top-Performing School Districts in Annual School Breakfast Participation Scorecard
Alexandria, Va. – February 14, 2017 — Newburgh Enlarged School City District (N.Y.) and Newark Public Schools (N.J.) were with articles in the annual School Breakfast: Making it Work in Large School Districts report released today by the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC, a national anti-hunger advocacy group).
The report examines School Breakfast Program participation rates and trends in 73 of America’s largest school districts. These districts saw a net increase of 101,548 students eating school breakfast in the school year 2015–2016, compared to the prior school year.
These two school districts participate in the Superintendent Leadership to Expand the School Breakfast Program initiative, supported by the Walmart Foundation. Since 2011, AASA, The School Superintendents Association, has engaged 22 school districts in this program, which increases the number of children who eat school breakfast, by taking breakfast out of the cafeteria and into the classroom and hallways through Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab ‘n’ Go, and Second Chance options. The National School Breakfast Program makes it possible for all school children in the U.S. to receive a nutritious breakfast every school day.
Both districts implemented Breakfast in The Classroom in their elementary schools and Grab ‘n’ Go options in secondary schools through kiosks and vending machines. These strategies have been key drivers in the districts’ increased school breakfast participation rates.
Furthermore, in the 2016-2017 school year, the Newburgh Enlarged City School District adopted community eligibility, which allows high-poverty school districts or schools to offer breakfast and lunch at no charge to all students. The community eligibility option increases the participation of children and, by eliminating verification and other processes, results in significant administrative savings to the district.
“Our goal is to provide a healthy school breakfast to as many children as we can to ensure our students are getting the nutrition they need to learn and thrive in the classroom,” said Dan Domenech, executive director, AASA. “School breakfast means less hunger, better health and improved educational outcomes for our children.”
FRAC has set an ambitious, but achievable, goal of reaching 70 low-income children with school breakfast for every 100-receiving school lunch. The report finds that 93.1 percent of low-income children in Newburgh and 92.2 percent of low-income children in Newark ate school breakfast for every 100 that received free or reduced-price school lunch during the 2015 – 2016 school year. This is well above the national average of 56 low-income children eating school breakfast for every 100 who received school lunch in the 2015–2016 school year.