More Schools to Take Part in Breakfast Program

Aug 31, 2013 by

Looking to ensure that no children from low-income families attend school on an empty stomach, lawmakers are expanding Texas schools’ participation in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s School Breakfast Program.

Under Senate Bill 376, which will be in effect for the 2014-15 school year, campuses in which 80 percent or more of the students are eligible for a free or reduced-price meal must offer a free breakfast to all students. According to a report from Children at Risk, a Houston-based advocacy group, the program will affect approximately 1,000 additional schools.

“We must ensure that every Texas child has the resources they need to reach their full potential,” said state Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr., D-Brownsville, who authored the bill. “Few resources are as important as a nutritious breakfast.”

Because the program is federally funded, it won’t cost school districts or the state any additional money. Schools can take their own approach to the distribution of meals.

SB 376 does not change the eligibility requirements used to determine whether a student qualifies for a free or reduced-price breakfast. Children from families with incomes at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible for free meals, and those from families with incomes between 130 percent and 185 percent of the poverty level are charged no more than 30 cents per meal. The 2013 poverty level, set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is $23,550 for a four-person household. Students who do not qualify for the program will be able to purchase the meal at its regular price, which is set by schools individually.

via More Schools to Take Part in Breakfast Program | The Texas Tribune.

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