Not enough kids break the fast before they leave for school. New figures in a “School Breakfast Scorecard” publicized by the Illinois Hunger Coalition show Illinois’ participation in school breakfast programs is rising.
In the 2012-13 school year, 45.6 percent of the children who received free or reduced-price lunch also had breakfast at school. The coalition says that’s an increase of 7.5 percent over the year before.
“Just, in general, health issues with the obesity epidemic that’s going around, I think it is becoming important for these programs – there’s more emphasis on the nutritional aspects of these meals,” says Mark Haller, division administrator for nutrition and wellness at the Illinois State Board of Education.
“More children are eating school breakfast. That’s great news for children in our state, and such progress should – and must – be sustained,” the coalition said in a statement.