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More NH Low-Income Kids Getting Breakfast, Lunch at School

PHOTO: Outreach efforts, such as this one at Dr. Norman W. Crisp Elementary School in Nashua, helped New Hampshire enroll nearly 1,000 more kids in school breakfast programs last year. Courtesy: NH Kids Count
PHOTO: Outreach efforts, such as this one at Dr. Norman W. Crisp Elementary School in Nashua, helped New Hampshire enroll nearly 1,000 more kids in school breakfast programs last year. Courtesy: NH Kids Count
February 16, 2015

CONCORD, N.H. - It's considered the most important meal of the day and the Granite State made progress in the latest School Breakfast report card. The state boosted enrollment in School Breakfast Programs by nearly 1,000 students in the Food Research and Action Center report.

Evan West, Hunger Solutions Outreach Coordinator with New Hampshire Kids Count, says that's a six percent jump, compared with the national average of three percent. The state also saw healthy growth in getting kids who participate in lunch programs to also eat breakfast at school.

"That increase of 2.4 percent has been higher than the national average," says West. "We're going to continue to work hard to make sure that as many free and reduced-price students as possible are eating both breakfast and lunch."

The state still has work to do. It currently ranks 50th in the nationwide report.

Jim Weill, president of the Food Research and Action Center, says the schools that are most successful at feeding kids are the ones serving breakfast in the classroom or, for older kids, offering it at "grab-and-go" carts in the hallways.

"The school districts and the states seeing the most progress year to year are not making kids go to the cafeteria half an hour before school starts," he says. "But are serving breakfast after the bell and are doing much better."

Ellen Fineberg, executive director with New Hampshire Kids Count, says federal funding is available for schools that
serve a high percentage of low-income students that allows all students at those schools to get reduced-price meals.

"Schools have to apply in order to participate," says Fineberg. "There are a number of schools that are working on their applications, and then there are other schools considering whether they will apply."

More than 11 million low-income children nationwide eat free and reduced-price breakfasts on an average day.



Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NH