School Breakfast Scorecard

Posted by on February 17, 2014

New Jersey has shown marked increases in getting low-income children to eat breakfast in school, while Pennsylvania has demonstrated slow improvement in serving the meals.

That’s the word from the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), which released its School Breakfast Scorecard this month. Based in Washington, FRAC is the leading antihunger advocacy group in America.

Throughout the country, school-breakfast participation by low-income students is calculated by measuring the number of children eating breakfast compared with those eating lunch. That’s because many low-income students typically will eat lunch but skip breakfast.

New Jersey jumped from about 41 breakfast students per 100 lunch students to more than 45 breakfast students between the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years, FRAC reported.

The state improved its U.S. ranking in breakfast participation from 46th to 37th, FRAC showed.

Although Pennsylvania recorded a slight increase in the number of students participating in breakfast – from 44 breakfast students per 100 lunch students to 45 – its ranking declined from 38th to 39th.

“That’s because other states, like New Jersey, are moving up faster,” said Julie Zaebst, policy manager at the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger.

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