Increased School Breakfast

School Breakfast Reached More Children in Ohio

The annual national School Breakfast Scorecard released today by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) finds that, on an average school day in 2014-2015, 370,094 low-income children in Ohio participated in school breakfast, an increase of 5.4% from the previous year. Overall, an additional 14,714 Ohio students participated in the School Breakfast Program. This finding illustrates Ohio’s efforts to provide students with a healthy breakfast each day, says Andrea Eckhardt, Director of School and Summer Nutrition for Children’s Hunger Alliance.

The School Breakfast Scorecard measures the success of the School Breakfst Program at the national and state levels. The FRAC report finds that 54 low-income children in Ohio ate school breakfast on an average day for every 100 that received free or reduced-price lunch during the 2014-2015 school year.

This increase places Ohio squarely on the national average, where 54 low-income children ate school breakfast for every 100 who also ate school lunch, an increase from the previous school year’s ratio of a decade earlier.

“This boost in participation is a victory for Ohio,” said Eckhardt. “Advocacy efforts by Children’s Hunger Alliance in partnership with the American Dairy Association Mideast, Action for Healthy Kids, and the Ohio School nutrition Association positively impacted Ohio students. Increasing the conditions right for all students to learn.”
In Ohio’s major cities, Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland saw increases in the number of children who ate school breakfast out of 100 who ate school lunch. Of the 73 school districts measured, Cincinnati Public Schools is ranked 4th in the nation and Columbus City Schools is ranked 22nd.

Low participation means missed meals for hungry children and missed federal nutrition dollars for Ohio. Increasing participation to 70 low-income children receiving breakfast for every 100 who eat lunch – a goal some states have met – would lead to an additional 112,665 low-income Ohio children eating breakfast each day, and an additional $30 million in federal child nutrition funding.