APN News

  • Sunday, October, 2021| Today's Market | Current Time: 12:18:12
  • St. Louis, Mo: Operation Food Search (OFS), a non-profit hunger relief organization, recently launched its Missouri School Breakfast website that provides extensive resources and detailed reports regarding breakfast participation trends and how they affect students statewide. 

    The new website, which was created to raise awareness regarding the importance of breakfast, provides a variety of tools for school district administration and staff.  The goal is to implement successful breakfast programs at every Missouri school that offers free and reduced-price meals.  An interactive map includes statistics for 575 school districts composed of 2,198 schools.

    OFS developed the site with support from the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC).  The Social Policy Institute at Washington University in St. Louis handled the multi-year research process that generated relevant breakfast data based upon information provided by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  Findings are from 2017 through 2019, and analysis for the 2019-2020 school year will begin in August of 2021.

    According to the current data, School Breakfast Program participation increased by 1.1% in the 2018-2019 school year compared to the previous year.  Despite the increased participation, only half of all possible free or reduced-price breakfasts were served.  Research shows the schools that implemented strategies such as Breakfast After the Bell were 1.9 times more likely to have high breakfast participation. 

    School breakfasts continue to lag in comparison to lunches served.  On average, 61.7 free and reduced-price breakfasts were served for every 100 free and reduced-price lunches.  Only 32.1% of Missouri schools are reaching the national benchmark of serving 70 free and reduced-price breakfasts for every 100 free and reduced-price lunches.

    “When children have the opportunity to eat breakfast at school each morning, they experience improved concentration, higher test scores, and fewer trips to the school nurse,” said OFS Director of Policy and Innovation Trina Ragain.  “We’re working to grow the School Breakfast Program in Missouri by showcasing best practices from local schools and highlighting the latest research and trends.”