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Report: CT Last at the Table for School Breakfast

December 9, 2009

BLOOMFIELD, Conn. - Connecticut is late to the table when it comes to serving school breakfast. The new "School Breakfast Scorecard" compiled by the Food Research and Action Center shows that, while the number of children participating in the School Breakfast Program is up by about three percent in one year, Connecticut is last in the nation for the number of schools offering breakfast.

According to Foodshare President Gloria McAdam, this means thousands of low-income children are going without a healthy start to their day.

"We all know that kids need to eat breakfast before the school day; it only makes sense that they're going to do better in school. The research actually shows that kids who eat breakfast will do better on tests and do better in their school work."

Nearly 100 percent of the breakfast costs for low-income children are covered by federal funding; McAdam says schools often just need a nudge from the public to put a breakfast program in place.

"Parents out there that are concerned, either about their own children or other children in their neighborhood, can make a difference by advocating with their school system."

She says school food-service programs also need to be flexible enough to offer kids the opportunity to eat breakfast in their classrooms. Many low-income students arrive by bus, which doesn't allow them enough time to go to the cafeteria. The Connecticut Legislature has given schools the green-light to feed children in class.

See the School Breakfast Scorecard online at http://frac.org/pdf/breakfast09.pdf.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - CT