A companion analysis by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), School Breakfast: Making it Work in Large School Districts, examined school breakfast participation in 73 school districts across the country, including six New York State school districts — Brentwood Union Free School District, Buffalo Public Schools, New York City Department of Education, Newburgh Enlarged City School District, Rochester City School District, and Syracuse City School District.
Among the top 10 performing districts was Newburgh Enlarged City School District, which ranked fourth in reaching children with school breakfast. Offering breakfast at no charge to all students and extensively utilizing alternative school breakfast service models such as breakfast in the classroom throughout all or most of their schools allowed Newburgh to surpass FRAC’s goal of reaching 70 low-income children with school breakfast for every 100 participating in school lunch.
While the breakfast participation rate is increasing nationally, there are still a number of districts falling short in reaching low-income students. Ten school districts in FRAC’s report — including New York City Department of Education— served breakfast to fewer than 46 children per 100 who received school lunch.
Seventy districts in this study — including Brentwood, Buffalo, New York City, Newburgh, Rochester and Syracuse— reported operating a breakfast after the bell program, such as breakfast in the classroom, grab and go, or second chance breakfast, in some or all of their schools.