L.A. Unified Ranks No. 1 in Nation in Breakfast Participation

LOS ANGELES – L.A. Unified serves breakfast to more low-income students than any district in the nation, with nearly 290,000 youngsters consuming the first meal of the day after arriving at school, a study released today says.

According to the annual report by the Food Research & Action Center, a national anti-hunger advocacy group, L.A. Unified offered free breakfast to students at 880 of its schools in 2015-16.

Most participating schools serve a full meal in the classroom. Others offer students a “grab-and-go” option, and some open their campus cafeteria before the first bell rings.

“Our goal is to provide a healthy school breakfast to as many children as we can to ensure that our students are getting the nutrition they need to learn and thrive in the classroom,” said Joseph Vaughn, the director of Food Services for L.A. Unified. “School breakfast means less hunger, healthier kids and improved educational outcomes for our students.”

The Food Research & Action Center’s goal is for school districts to serve breakfast to 70 low-income students for every 100 who participate in the school lunch program. L.A. Unified exceeds this goal, serving about 40,000 more breakfast meals than lunches on the average day.

In addition, the number of District students receiving breakfast increased more than 3 percent in 2015-16 from the prior year, with nearly 9,000 more youngsters participating in the program. Approximately 405,000 students, or 72.4 percent, of L.A. Unified students qualified for free and reduced-price meals, based on their family’s income.

“To be the top-ranked large school district in breakfast participation means we have a stellar support system,” Vaughn said. “From the superintendent and School Board to our dynamic Food Services staff, our concerted efforts have paved the way to earning this incredible achievement. More than 4,500 Food Service employees make nutrition a priority for all students in our District, and we are proud to serve them each day.”


Contact: Ellen T. Morgan (213) 241-6766




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