JEFFERSON CITY - A new national report released Tuesday that Missouri made significant progress in reaching more low-income children with school breakfasts. The state served nearly 54 low-income children breakfast for each one hundred who received lunch during the 2011-2012 school year.
Last year, 51 children out of one hundred received breakfast.
Missouri Association for Social Welfare (MASW) officials said the increase improves school attendance and student behavior, boosts learning and test scores, and improves student health.
According to the School Breakfast Scorecard released by the Food Research and Action Center, for the first time nationally, more than half of all low-income students who participated in school lunch also participated in school breakfast. Moreover, more than 90 percent of schools that operate the National School Lunch Program also offered the School Breakfast Program.
"Increasing participation so that 70 Missouri children have school breakfast for every one hundred who also eat lunch would lead to an additional 62,544 low-income Missouri children eating breakfast each day," said Executive Director of MASW Jeanette Mott Oxford. "And Missouri would also qualify for an additional $15 million in child nutrition funding."
Nationally, reaching the goal would allow an additional 4.1 million low-income children to participate in the breakfast program.