Hawai‘i Ranked 50th in Nation for Student Breakfast Participation

February 16, 2019, 10:00 AM HST (Updated February 15, 2019, 2:25 PM)
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Eating a healthy meal in the morning enhances students’ academic performance and their ability to focus on learning in the classroom.
PC: Department of Education

Fewer than four in 10 low-income students are starting their days with breakfast at Hawai‘i public schools. As a result, Hawai‘i is now ranked last in the nation for school breakfast participation, falling from 49th last year to 50th this year.

According to the national School Breakfast Scorecard released by the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), 26,170 low-income students in Hawai‘i showed up for cafeteria breakfast on school days during 2017 to 2018—a 5% decrease from the previous year. FRAC reported that for every 100 low-income students that receive free or reduced-price school meals, fewer than 40 eat school breakfast. The national average is 57.

“All of our keiki deserve a good education that opens up opportunities for the rest of their lives, and school breakfast is an important tool that can help our students succeed,” said Nicole Woo of Hawai‘i Appleseed. “Some schools in our state have found new, successful ways to serve breakfast to their students, ensuring that they start the school day ready to learn. We strongly encourage other schools to follow their lead so that more of our children can benefit.”

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