Governor Steve Bullock and First Lady Lisa Bullock today highlighted the recently released Food Research and Action Center annual School Breakfast Scorecard which features Montana for having the largest increase in the nation in school breakfast participation during the 2017-2018 school year.
“These are real results for Montana and it shows that childhood hunger is a problem we can continue to solve,” said Governor Bullock. “Since my time in office, my wife Lisa and I have partnered with the private sector, schools and Montana No Kid Hungry to make breakfast part of the school day, and as a result, thousands more kids across our state are getting what they need to reach their highest potential.”
The report found that:
- Montana saw the largest increase in the nation, at 12.3%, in the number of Free and Reduced-Price (FRP) students participating in school breakfast compared to the previous year;
- Montana had the largest jump in rank in the nation of low-income students participating in school breakfast for every 100 participating in school lunch – going from 34th among states in school year 2016-2017 to 23rd in school year 2017-2018;
- In Montana, 59 FRP students participated in school breakfast for every 100 FRP students eating school lunch;
- A total of 734 schools in Montana participated in school breakfast out of the 804 offering school lunch, which is 91.3% of schools;
This week marks National School Breakfast Week to raise awareness of the importance of making school breakfast available to all children.
First Lady Lisa Bullock today visited Smith Elementary School in Helena to highlight the school’s efforts in making a healthy school breakfast option available by offering smoothies on the school menu and expanding that option to ten schools throughout the Helena School District.
“There is no better way to spend National School Breakfast Week than being inspired by the students who led a grassroots effort in making healthy school breakfast options available to all of their peers,” said First Lady Bullock. “These student leaders see first-hand what we know works: eating breakfast provides the nutrition, energy, and brain power needed to concentrate on the school tasks at hand and be successful in the classroom and throughout life.”
Since 2014, Governor and First Lady Bullock have partnered with Montana No Kid Hungry to incentivize Montana schools to implement new breakfast programs or alternative breakfast models to increase student participation in school breakfast. Through this Breakfast after the Bell initiative, Governor and First Lady Bullock have awarded nearly $420,000 in private grant funding to 110 K-12 Montana schools. Montana has since seen a 34% increase in school breakfast participation among income eligible students.