Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Few Facts on the School Breakfast Program

Eating my breakfast (2 eggs on toast and coffee), I decided to look up information on the School Breakfast Program (SBP). A few facts to think about from the Food Research Action Center:

- The
School Breakfast Program was established by Congress - first as a pilot program in 1966, then as a permanent entitlement program in 1975 to assist schools in providing nutritious morning meals to the nation's children.

- Each day
, roughly 10 million children in more than 84,500 schools and institutions participated in the SBP. Of these children, 81% received free or reduced price breakfasts.

- To receive free breakfast, household income must be at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty level; for reduced price breakfast, income must be at or below 185 percent.

- Breakfasts served as part of the SBP provide one-fourth or more of the daily recommended levels for key nutrients that children need. They are required to provide no more than 30 percent of calories from fat and less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fat.

- Research shows that children who have school breakfast eat more fruits, drink more milk, and consume a wider variety of foods than those who don't eat breakfast or have breakfast at home.

- Studies conclude that students who eat school breakfast increase their math and reading scores as well as improve their speed and memory in cognitive tests.

- For the 2008-09 school year, schools are reimbursed $1.40 per free breakfast served, $1.10 per reduced priced breakfast, and $0.25 per paid breakfast. For fiscal year 2006, federal reimbursements for the SBP totaled $2 billion dollars.

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