Food For Thought:
Expanding School Breakfast in New Jersey
A good breakfast helps students focus in class, score higher on standardized tests and avoid trips to the school nurse. When children are hungry, they cannot concentrate on a reading assignment or solve a math problem.
Despite strong evidence of the benefits of serving breakfast to children in school, just a fraction of eligible New Jersey children get this healthy start to their school day. According to the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), the state ranks 46th nationwide for its low participation rate in the School Breakfast Program.
On Sept. 28, Advocates for Children of New Jersey released a report on school breakfast in New Jersey and kicked off the Food for Thought School Breakfast Campaign. This campaign seeks to expand innovative approaches to serving school breakfast, which significantly increase students’ participation and improve student health and academic achievement.
ACNJ’s report identifies 68 districts with a high number of low-income students and a low number of students receiving school breakfast. The report offers specific recommendations for expanding school breakfast in high-poverty districts.
In addition, ACNJ has compiled data on all districts that offer school breakfast. ACNJ encourages parents, teachers, child advocates and others to use this information to target districts that have low participation rates. Using the information in our school breakfast report, you can all urge your school leaders – superintendents, principals, teachers, school boards, PTAs – to support innovative school breakfast programs.
Find data for districts in your county.
Many organizations in New Jersey and around the country are working to ensure that children have a nutritious start to their school day. In the Related Links to the right, you will find more resources and information that can assist you in advocating for school breakfast in your community.
District-by-district Data on School Breakfast Participation Rates,
All County Profiles