Associated Press Published

State Ranks First on School Breakfast Scorecard

School Lunch Line

A national nonprofit that advocates for federal food programs released its School Breakfast Scorecard today. West Virginia sits at the top.

The School Breakfast Scorecard ranks states on their rate of participation of low-income children in the federally-funded School Breakfast program. West Virginia topped the list for the last school year, while Utah is at the bottom.

School breakfast participation grew steadily across the country during the 2014-2015 school year, continuing growth seen throughout the past decade.

Richard Goff is the executive director with the Office of Child Nutrition.  Goff said they employ different strategies to make sure kids are taking advantage of the breakfast. 

“Twenty-five percent of all kids come from food-insecure homes in West Virginia, that means they have no idea where there next meal is going to come from, so a lot of these children rely on breakfast and lunch,” Goff said. “So the strategies we put in place are like breakfast in the classroom, which works really great in elementary schools.”

 Goff said the food is taken to the individual classrooms so students can eat while role is being taken or they’re getting started on their lesson. Goff said in high schools they’ll use strategies like allowing kids to pick up the food in a brown bag and eat it as they go or having a sit-down breakfast after first period.  The top states, West Virginia, New Mexico and District of Columbia all surpassed the Food Research and Action Center’s goal of reaching 70-low-income children with breakfast for every 100 children who eat lunch. 

Appalachia Helth News

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Benedum Foundation.