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Breakfast Program in Newburgh Schools Ranks Third in National Survey for Third Straight Year!
The Newburgh Enlarged City School District maintained its high standing, as part of the annual Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) annual school district-level report, “School Breakfast: Making it Work in Large School Districts” for the 2018-2019 school year. Newburgh Schools has come in third for its size for the last three school years (2016-2017, 2017-2018, 2018-2019). For the 2015-2016 school year, the district came in fourth. The districts that ranked higher were Los Angeles Unified School District and San Antonio Independent School District.
The report measures the reach of the School Breakfast Program in each state by comparing the number of free and reduced-price certified children eating school breakfast to the number of such children eating school lunch. This year, of the 76 large school districts surveyed, 21 school districts met their goal of reaching 70 low-income children participating in school breakfast for every 100 participating in school lunch. All top performing districts offer breakfast free to all students in all or some schools and have robustly implemented service models that make breakfast part of the school day. A number of the top-performing school districts — Los Angeles Unified School District, San Antonio Independent School District, and Newburgh Enlarged City School District, among others — serve a particularly high proportion of students from low-income households. Nationally, 57 low-income children participated in school breakfast for every 100 that participated in school lunch, up slightly from 56.7 in the 2016-2017 school year.
More low-income children across the country are getting the nutrition they need to learn and thrive through the School Breakfast Program, according to the annual School Breakfast Scorecard, also released on Wednesday by FRAC.
The Newburgh Enlarged City School District has offered free breakfast to all scholars since the 2015-2016 school year and began providing free lunch to all scholars during the 2016-2017 school year. The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) provides an opportunity for districts in high poverty areas to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students without the encumbrance of collecting and processing school meal applications for free and reduced-price meals.
"Our consistent national ranking demonstrates the commitment of our Food Services team. They have worked diligently to secure grant and government resources that have improved our program and facilities. Our children are well nourished without feeling stigmatized -- an essential element of our successful program as it continues to grow. It is an honor to be recognized with such a high ranking by this national study for a third year in a row. It shows that the hard work by our team is paying off and the positive impact on our scholars is making a difference. Hunger and poor nutrition take valuable time away from the classroom where scholars should be focused on learning instead of their next meal. Providing a nutritious breakfast promotes equity among our students and allows parents to use precious time in the morning to prepare their children for school, instead of rushing to make breakfast." Dr. Roberto Padilla, Superintendent of the Newburgh Enlarged City School District
“In Newburgh, we strive to provide all students with breakfast each day by offering these meals outside of the traditional cafeteria space. We know that breakfast and proper nutrition is key to student success, so we are constantly looking for new menu and delivery options that entice students to get the fuel they need for a productive day. We have established and maintained positive relationships with all stakeholders throughout the District. This has been the key to our long-term success and growth in our Breakfast After the Bell program.” Mrs. Caitlin Lazarski, Food Service Director for the Newburgh Enlarged City School District
The continued rise in school breakfast participation can be attributed to more school districts adopting innovative strategies that effectively address the barriers to participation, including late buses, morning commutes, tight household budgets, and social stigma. Efforts to increase breakfast participation pay off — school breakfast leads to improved dietary intake, reduced food insecurity, better test scores, improved student health, and fewer distractions in the classroom throughout the morning. On an average school day during the 2017–2018 school year, nearly 12.5 million low-income students participated in the national School Breakfast Program, an increase of 1.2 percent over the prior school year. In the 2017–2018 school year, 4 million more low-income children received school breakfast on an average day than a decade ago in the 2007–2008 school year.
The report also reconfirms that when breakfast is moved out of the cafeteria and served after the first bell, participation increases and more children reap the benefits. These strategies include breakfast after the bell, which incorporates breakfast into the school day, and offering breakfast to all students free of charge. Breakfast after the bell service models, such as breakfast in the classroom, “grab and go,” and second chance breakfast (which allows students to eat breakfast later in the morning) all make it easier for students to access school breakfast.
As more school districts expand these winning strategies, the gap in the number of low-income students reached by the School Breakfast Program compared to the number in need is decreasing. More students are reaping the benefits of school breakfast, including higher academic achievement and test scores, elevated health and nutrition, and reduced absenteeism, tardiness, and behavior referrals. By breaking down barriers to school breakfast participation, school districts build up all their students’ potential for success.
"The benefits of school breakfast are numerous — less hunger, better test scores, improved student health, and fewer distractions from hunger during classroom learning," said Jim Weill, president, Food Research & Action Center. "We commend the states and school districts that have implemented effective strategies to increase participation such as serving breakfast after the bell and offering breakfast at no charge to all students. We strongly encourage others to follow their lead," said Weill.
Last year, NECSD worked with New York State to promote the importance of our school breakfast program. Take a look at the video and learn more about our program.
ATTENTION: Are your scholars or colleagues doing something great? Please contact the district Communications Strategist, Cassie Sklarz (email@example.com). We’d love to visit your class or event and/or post your pictures and recap to highlight the amazing accomplishments throughout our district!