Three districts are in California, two in Georgia, and two in New York state. The program expansion is made possible by an additional Walmart grant of $2,500,00.
The purpose of the AASA breakfast initiative is to significantly increase the participation of needy children in already existing federal school breakfast programs. Studies have shown that children are not enrolled in the program for a number of reasons—either because their school does not provide the program, their parents do not have sufficient information about the program or understand that they are eligible to participate, or transportation to get the child to school in time for breakfast is not available.
“We know that more than 19 million children in this country qualify to receive free or reduced-price lunch at school, but less than half of them get breakfast at school—even though federal programs exist to feed them,” said AASA executive director Daniel A. Domenech in announcing the grant.
“In the districts where we will be working, as many as 85 to 95 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. We have already demonstrated that this AASA initiative creates broad awareness and support among school district and community leaders for the breakfast program. It is our intent to help districts build sustainable programs. All students need breakfast to fuel their work.”