Nevada News Service
School breakfast in Nevada is reaching more children, according to two new nationwide reports that focus on progress in providing low-income pupils with nutritious breakfasts. Nevada participation rates increased by nearly 40 percent since last year and Clark County, highlighted in one of the reports, increased reach to low-income students by 46 percent.
Jocelyn Lantrip, marketing director for the Food Bank of Northern Nevada, says Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, accomplished this gain simply by being creative and juggling the time breakfast is served to a little bit later
.“If breakfast is served after the bell, they just have a lot better chance of actually accessing that breakfast. And what we are seeing is that the kids that really need it are the ones that are eating.
Lantrip says there is still work to do both in Clark County and the state because Nevada ranks below the national average of 50 low-income students receiving breakfast for every 100 receiving school lunch.
Crystal FitzSimons with the Food Research and Action Center says this success places Clark County on track to achieve more gains in breakfast participation.
“We call that breakfast in the classroom or ‘grab-and-go’ breakfast. And so, the kids are able to eat with their classmates. They eat while the teacher is taking attendance or doing the first morning lesson, and they’re able to start the school day ready to learn because they’ve had a healthy breakfast.
Lantrip says with just a little more progress, a lot more Nevada children will start the day with a healthy breakfast.
“If Nevada reaches the goal of 70 percent of children eating school breakfast, that will mean 43,000 more low-income children will start the day with breakfast.”
The report, “School Breakfast: Making it Work in Large Districts,” finds schools have reached a milestone with 90 percent of districts that participate in the national school lunch program now also serving breakfast.