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Feb 14, 2017 12:39 PM

NH ranks 50 of 51 when it comes to school breakfast participation

New Hampshire ranked second-to-last place in the nation for school breakfast participation, according to the annual School Breakfast Scorecard Report released by the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC).

The new FRAC report highlights federal, state and local strategies for increasing participation in the national U.S. Department of Agriculture School Breakfast Program. The report also measures the reach of the School Breakfast Program in the 2015–2016 school year, in each state, based on a variety of metrics and impact.

The report showed that 15,991 children in New Hampshire participated in school breakfast on an average school day in 2015-2016, a 2.3 percent increase over the previous year. In the same year, the number of students in the state who participated in the National School Free and Reduced Price (NSLP) Lunch Program is 40,367.

New Hampshire’s low participation in school breakfast ranking can be attributed in part to the lack of widespread implementation of alternative service models such as “grab and go,” “second chance breakfast,” and the “Community Eligibility Provision,” which provides free meals to all students in schools with a high ratio of free and reduced priced lunch participants.

“Having a healthy school breakfast enables more children to start their day with the nutrition they need to learn.” said Amy Bourgault, of New Hampshire Hunger Solutions. “Students who regularly start the day with breakfast are more likely to miss fewer school days, have better concentration in school and overall better health.”

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