Nearly 12.5 million low-income students received free or low-cost breakfast at a typical school in 2017-18, says a new report co-authored by the nutrition-advocacy group the Food Research and Action Center and Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom.
Participation in the federal school breakfast program was up 1.2 percent in 2017-18 from the prior year, the report found. That represents an additional 149,000 children served on an average day.
But the percentage of eligible children receiving meals varied significantly from state to state. Among the top states, participation ranged from nearly 84 percent in West Virginia to less than 63 percent in Texas. And in Hawaii and Utah, breakfast programs have participation rates under 40 percent of low-income students.
CLARIFICATION: A previous version of this article did not include the co-author of the report.
A version of this article appeared in the February 27, 2019 edition of Education Week as School Nutrition