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Report: More Wyoming Students Eating Breakfast at School

PHOTO: Wyoming is doing a better job in serving school breakfast for low-income students, but ranks 45th in the nation because so many kids are missing out, mainly because schools don't offer breakfast.
PHOTO: Wyoming is doing a better job in serving school breakfast for low-income students, but ranks 45th in the nation because so many kids are missing out, mainly because schools don't offer breakfast.
January 15, 2013

CASPER, Wyo. - School breakfast in Wyoming is getting a positive review in a report released today by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC). The study shows that more low-income children are being served nutritious breakfasts at school compared with the previous year, but there's room for improvement with the state being ranked near the bottom of all states - at 45th - for effectiveness in reaching low-income kids.

Crystal FitzSimons, director of school and out-of-school programs at FRAC, says the program has many benefits.

"School breakfast has a really positive impact on student achievement, on reducing absenteeism and tardiness, in addition to combating food insecurity and making sure that kids have healthy food."

About 41 percent of low-income pupils receiving lunch at schools also get breakfast. The goal is to bump that to 70 percent, which would also bring several million dollars to the state in federal funding.

FitzSimons says the most successful programs offer breakfast to any child who wants one, thereby removing stigma, saving paperwork, and also helping families that don't have time in their busy schedules.

"So the kids are able to eat with their classmates. They eat while the teacher is taking attendance or doing the first morning lesson."

About 11,000 Wyoming children receive school breakfast.

The report is "School Breakfast Scorecard," and can be found at FRAC.org.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - WY