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Calling the National School Breakfast Program "one of the most underutilized of the federal food programs," an advocacy group and 45 local and national organizations last week urged nonparticipating school districts to begin offering the subsidized meals.

While more than 24 million children are expected to receive a meal through the federally subsidized School Lunch Program this year, only 3.7 million will receive a school breakfast, says the Food Research and Action Center, a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group. The group hopes to double the number of schools participating in the program by 1990.

Schools have been "skittish" about joining the breakfast program, frac officials say, because of uncertainty over federalfunds. But because the breakfast program is an entitlement program, they say, the government is required to meet the needs of any district requesting funding for it.

As part of its effort, frac has released a manual to help local school districts and community groups get a program under way.

Copies of "Fuel for Excellence" can be purchased for $7.00 from frac, 1319 F Street, N.W. #500, Washington, D.C. 20004.

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