New York Trails Other States in Reaching Low-Income Children
with a Healthy School Breakfast

– State Ranks 35th on School Breakfast Scorecard


Albany, N.Y., February 13, 2018 —Too many low-income children in New York are not getting the nutrition they need to start their day ready to learn, according to the School Breakfast Scorecard released today by the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), which reveals that New York lags behind other states in school breakfast participation. Despite reaching 650,000 low-income children with school breakfast on a typical day in the 2016-2017 school year, a 6.1 percent increase from the prior school year, New York ranks 35th in the nation on the Scorecard.

“Progress is being made but we still have a long way to go to ensure all low-income children in the state reap the many benefits of school breakfast: less hunger, better health, and improved educational outcomes,” said Linda Bopp, Executive Director, Hunger Solutions New York. “It is for these reasons we need statewide policy like that proposed by Governor Cuomo with the No Student Goes Hungry initiative, which will expand Breakfast After the Bell programs in low-income school districts across the state”.

If implemented, 1,400 New York schools will be required to offer Breakfast After the Bell — which includes alternative models for serving breakfast after the start of the school day — allowing them to overcome common barriers such as late bus arrivals and social stigma, as well as reduce hunger during morning classes.

When announcing No Student Goes Hungry, the governor’s office cited the success of Breakfast After the Bell in the Newburgh Enlarged City School District as a model for other districts across the state. A companion report by FRAC, School Breakfast: Making it Work in Large School Districts, also released today, ranks the Newburgh Enlarged City School District third out of 75 large school districts from across the country that were surveyed for the report. The upstate school district reached 93% of low-income children with school breakfast for every 100 participating in school lunch, surpassing FRAC’s goal of reaching 70 low income children with school breakfast for every 100 who eat school lunch.

Hunger Solutions New York will be releasing a more comprehensive report on school breakfast in New York State during National School Breakfast Week which is March 5-9, 2018.

 About the School Breakfast Scorecard

This report measures the reach of the School Breakfast Program in the 2016–2017 school year — nationally and in each state — based on a variety of metrics, and examines the impact of select trends and policies on program participation. On an average school day, nearly 12.2 million low-income children participated in the School Breakfast Program in school year 2016–2017. While participation from year to year has continued to increase, the rate of growth has slowed, from an average of 390,000 additional students in each of the four preceding years to nearly 70,000 additional students in the 2016–2017 school year. Read the School Breakfast Scorecard in full.

About School Breakfast: Making it Work in Large School Districts

This companion report to the Scorecard examines School Breakfast Program participation rates and trends in 75 of America’s largest school districts. Nearly 2.4 million low-income students in the school districts surveyed for this report participated in school breakfast in the 2016–2017 school year. Slightly more than half of the school districts surveyed increased school breakfast participation in the 2016–2017 school year compared to the prior school year. Read School Breakfast: Making it Work in Large School Districts in full.

Hunger Solutions New York is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to alleviating hunger. We promote awareness of hunger in communities across the state, awareness about programs that address hunger, full participation in hunger assistance programs for all who are eligible, public policies that contribute to ending hunger, and public awareness of the economic benefit of anti-hunger programs. Visit hungersolutionsny.org to learn more.


The Food Research & Action Center is the leading national nonprofit organization working to eradicate poverty-related hunger and undernutrition in the United States. Visit frac.org to learn more.