NJ's Second Largest School District Says Parents Taking Pass on Free Student Breakfasts

Lauren Williams's picture
Monday, October 8, 2012

Days after a report by a nonprofit cited Jersey City's school district as an "underachiever" for not serving free or reduced-price school breakfasts to 82 percent of its eligible students, district officials are placing the blame squarely on parents.

The report by Advocates for Children of New Jersey, which lauds some Hudson County schools for boosting its participation in the federal school breakfast program, says Jersey City has 21,221 students eligible to participate in the program, yet only 3,880 do.

District spokeswoman Paula Christen said school officials have contacted parents whose children are eligible for the 8 a.m. free breakfasts -- which start 30 minutes before classes begin -- but parents don't seem interested.

"Parents know that they can send their child and they choose not to," she said.

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