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"Major Milestone" for Maryland Kids Eating School Breakfast

PHOTO: Governor Martin O'Malley talks to kids eating breakfast at Eastport Elementary. Photo courtesy: Executive Office of the Governor

PHOTO: Governor Martin O'Malley talks to kids eating breakfast at Eastport Elementary. Photo courtesy: Executive Office of the Governor


May 14, 2013

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - More Maryland children are starting their day with a healthy breakfast, and they're eating it at school, according to a new report.

Cathy Demeroto, director of Maryland Hunger Solutions, which published the report, said participation rates in the school breakfast program hit new highs last school year.

"We hit a major milestone in school breakfast participation," she specified. "For the first time, we have more than half the kids who are participating in school lunch, are also participating in school breakfast."

Demeroto reported that Maryland's breakfast participation now surpasses the national average.

School systems that are starting to serve breakfast in the classroom are seeing the best results, she said.

"The teachers are finding the students are eating, they're well behaved, now they're more intensive, they're performing better academically," as Demeroto described the changes.

She added that they're also seeing better attendance and less tardiness. Somerset County has the best breakfast participation rate, Howard County had the worst.

The General Assembly recently boosted funding for school breakfast programs, and Demeroto said the goal is to have at least 70 percent of students who are in the lunch program also getting breakfast at school.

A link to the report is at MDHungerSolutions.org.

Alison Burns, Public News Service - MD