On March 11, 2020

Vermont’s free school breakfast programs ranks second in country

More low-income children in Vermont are starting their day with a nutritious school breakfast. According to the School Breakfast Scorecard, released earlier this week by the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC, a national anti-hunger advocacy group), 17,796 low-income children in Vermont participated in the national school breakfast program on an average school day in 2018–2019. Vermont ranks second in the nation, behind West Virginia, for the ratio of low income students receiving free or reduced-priced lunches who also take advantage of school breakfast programs.

“No student should learn what hunger feels like at school, and providing a nutritious school breakfast is one important way we prevent hunger and make sure all students have what they need to learn,” said Anore Horton, executive director at Hunger Free Vermont. “Being a student is really a young person’s job, and they should be able to focus completely on their job while they are at school without hunger getting in the way.  School breakfast keeps children healthy, making the most of their education.”

“When breakfast is moved out of the cafeteria and served after the bell, participation increases and more children reap the benefits, including improvements in student’s attendance, behavior, test scores and nutrient intakes,” said Jill Hussels, school nutrition specialist for New England Dairy. “It’s so exciting to see so many Vermont schools embrace models that incorporate breakfast as a part of the school day, making it more convenient and easy for students to start their day with a nutritious meal so they are ready to learn.”

Vermont’s ranking can be attributed to the hard work and commitment of schools throughout Vermont, in collaboration with statewide nonprofits and the Vermont Agency of Education. It can also be attributed in large part to the number of schools across the state that have chosen to both move breakfast after the bell using an alternative breakfast model, and make breakfast universal – served at no charge to all students. Offering universal breakfast in the classroom and after the school day starts helps schools and students overcome common barriers such as late bus arrivals, tight household budgets, and the stigma associated with school breakfast as being only for low-income children. Vermont schools have proved that used together, these two approaches can dramatically move the needle on school breakfast participation.

Do you want to submit feedback to the editor?

Send Us An Email!

Related Posts

Program to store carbon in forests grows in the Green Mountain State

June 19, 2024
By Cecilia Larson/Community News Service Editor’s note: The Community News Service is a program in which University of Vermont students work with professional editors to provide content for local news outlets at no cost. Forged by the American Forest Foundation and the Nature Conservancy, a program that pays people to set aside forest to store carbon…

Two prescription drug bills aim to lower pharmaceutical prices

June 19, 2024
Governor Scott signed both into law By Peter D’Auria/VTDigger New legislation signed by Gov. Phil Scott May 30 will help patients afford prescription drugs, as rising pharmaceutical prices push up health care costs across the state.  As legislators scrambled to wrap up the legislative session earlier this month, they passed two bills that aim to reform…

Gov. Scott announces $1.7m in transportation fund grants 

June 19, 2024
Three projects in Windsor County are among the 11 to receive awards  Governor Phil Scott and the Vermont Downtown Development Board announced Monday, June 17, the allocation of $1,787,989 in Downtown Transportation Fund grants to support projects to improve safety, access, and transportation in 11 Vermont downtowns and villages across seven counties. “Revitalizing our downtowns is important…

Money available to protect against future flooding, no cost to towns

June 19, 2024
On Monday, June 3, Governor Scott and Vermont Emergency Management announced $90 million of federal funding is now available to Vermont municipalities to implement hazard mitigation measures that reduce future flood risk. These funds are available to all Vermont towns with no local match requirement. The federal Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) provides funds to…