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National Study Highlights S.D. Unified’s Breakfast Programs

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Aired 1/4/10

A national report shows that now more kids are eating free breakfasts at San Diego public schools than ever before.

— A national report shows that now more kids are eating free breakfasts at San Diego public schools than ever before.

The Food Research and Action Center based in Washington DC. tracked school breakfast participation rates in 25 large urban school districts.

It found that San Diego Unified posted a 40 percent increase last year in the number of students eating free breakfasts at school. Morning meals are now served to almost 29,000 kids. The majority come from poor families.

Researchers credit the increase to the recession, but they also credit San Diego Unified's classroom breakfast program. Kids get free breakfasts at the start of the day in their classrooms.

Chris Carter is with the San Diego Food Bank. He applauds the district for making food and nutrition a priority.

"Children go without food if the household budget has been stretched beyond breaking point," Carter says. "We find these programs help children function well in school; they can concentrate better and they take fewer trips to the school nurse."

Newark, New Jersey has the highest school breakfast participation rates, with more than 95 percent of students eating a morning meal.

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