The School Breakfast Program is a federally assisted child nutrition program that operates in many schools across the state. Many different types of schools serve breakfast; elementary, middle and high schools; rural and urban schools and public or private schools. The School Breakfast Program operates very similarly to the School Lunch Program. Both programs allow children to qualify for free or reduced priced meals, based on their family’s income.
Why School Breakfast?
- Not all students are able to eat breakfast at home
- Cited reasons by students for not being able to eat breakfast:
- No time in the morning
- Not hungry first thing in the morning
- No food at home
- No School Breakfast Program
- Don’t get to school in time to eat breakfast at school (bus schedules, etc.)
- Improves the quality of children’s diets
- Increases students’ performance in school
- Improves student behavior in class
- May decrease the prevalence of overweight in children
Benefits of Breakfast
- Children who eat breakfast are healthier, overall.
- Children who eat breakfast visit the school nurse less frequently.
- Eating breakfast may decrease the risk of being overweight in adults and children.
- Adolescents who eat breakfast regularly, at home or at schools, tend to weigh less, and be more active than teenagers who skip breakfast.
- Research shows that eating breakfast improves the quality of a child’s diet.
- Research shows that low-income students who participate in the School Breakfast Programs have better overall diets.
- Children who skip breakfast are less likely to meet recommended levels for important nutrients like folic acid, calcium, etc.
- Students who do NOT eat breakfast perform more poorly on tests of:
- math, matching, memory and creativity.
- Larger improvements on test scores were seen in children with poor diets who then ate breakfast consistently.
- Children who do NOT eat breakfast show more behavioral problems
- hyperactivity, absence from school, tardiness.
In short, everyone benefits from breakfast. Teachers, administrators, and parents, all reap the benefits of having children that are ready to learn.
- All children at participating schools are able to purchase a meal as part of the School Breakfast Program.
- A child whose household income is less than 130% of the poverty level is eligible for free breakfasts (<$28,665 for a family of 4). For 10-11 School Year
- A child whose household income is between 130% and 185% of the poverty level is eligible for reduced price breakfasts (<$40,793 for a family of 4). For 10-11 School Year.
- Breakfasts offered as part of the School Breakfast Program must meet current dietary guidelines.
- Breakfasts must contain ¼ of a child’s daily requirement for calories, protein, calcium, iron, vitamin A and vitamin C.
- No more than 30% of calories can come from fat, with no more than 10% of calories as saturated fat.
- Generally, breakfasts contain a serving of milk, fruit or fruit juice, and 2 servings from the grains or meat/meat alternate group (or 1 serving from each).
Reimbursement and Funding
- The Food and Nutrition Service of the United States Department of Agriculture funds the program nationally. In Wisconsin, the School Breakfast Program is administered through the Department of Public Instruction.
- For the 2010/11 school year, each meal served as part of the School Breakfast Program will be reimbursed as follows:
For Each Breakfast Served: Non-severe Need Severe Need
To students paying the full price $ .26 $ .26
To students eligible for reduced price $1.18 $1.46
To students eligible for free $1.48 $1.76
Annual STATE breakfast aid based on number of breakfasts served to students in the prior year to the extent funds are available $ .15 $ .15
- A school is eligible for severe need reimbursement if 40 percent or more of the student lunches served at the school in the second preceding school year were served free or at a reduced price. Severe need payment is made on an individual school building basis.
- USDA regulations require that the reduced price charge to students not exceed 30 cents for breakfast.