As schools across the country celebrate National School Breakfast Week, the USDA celebrates the 50th anniversary of the School Breakfast Program. This program was established to ensure that all school children have access to a well-balanced meal every morning before class. Over 14 million students participate in the school breakfast program.
In fact, last year over 2.3 billion breakfasts were served by more than 90,000 schools. Public schools are actively working to provide school breakfast to more students in need thanks to new grants totaling 6.8 million dollars.
Recent studies found that students with access to school breakfast:
· Tend to have a better overall diet and a lower body mass index (BMI) than did nonparticipants
· Have better attention spans and memory
· Show improved attendance, behavior, standardized test scores and decreased tardiness
· Students who eat school breakfast score 17.5% higher on standardized math tests
The School Breakfast Program is one of USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service’s nutrition assistance programs, which also include the National School Lunch Program, Summer Food Service Program, the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Together, these programs comprise America’s nutrition safety net.
These programs comprise the Federal Government’s response to remedy hunger in America. While they acknowledge the nutritional needs of children on school days, programs like BPB help fill the need left on the weekends.