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NJ Inches Up on School Breakfast; More Work Remains

December 3, 2012 | Community News and Media

New Jersey ranks 48th in the nation for its low participation rate in the School Breakfast Program, but thanks to a new program the state saw a 21 percent increase in the number of children from low-income families receiving breakfast at school from October 2010 to March 2012.

Advocates for Children of New Jersey’s 2nd Annual School Breakfast Report found that a growing number of districts are implementing “breakfast after the bell” where students eat breakfast right after school starts, typically in the classroom or the cafeteria. This approach is more effective than the traditional method of serving breakfast before school and has resulted in nearly 29,000 more New Jersey children getting a healthy morning meal each school day.

Despite the progress, just 35 percent of the 471,714 children in New Jersey eligible for free- or reduced-price breakfast actually received it in March 2012. The report identifies school districts that are “breakfast champions” and “breakfast underachievers” and provides data for every NJ district with 20 percent of more students eligible for free- or reduced-priced school meals.

Find out how districts in your area rate.

View the school breakfast video.


Advocates for Children of New Jersey released the report at East Side High in Newark, joined by Mayor Cory Booker, Superintendent Cami Anderson, Education Commissioner Chris Cerf and Agriculture Secretary Douglas Fisher, as well as about 150 educators, advocates and others who are concerned about children.

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