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Health

Report Finds That School Breakfast Program Is Underutilized In Maine

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Matt York
/
AP Photo
Kitchen worker Nancy Martinez serves a student a free breakfast at San Marcos Elementary School cafeteria Thursday, April 26, 2018, in Chandler, Ariz.

Only 60 percent of Maine children who participate in federal free and reduced price school lunch programs also participate in school breakfast, according to a report released Wednesday by the national nonprofit Food Research and Action Center.

Spokesperson Crystal Fitzsimons says Maine is faring better than many states, but could do more to ensure that low-income students eat breakfast.

"If they would implement breakfast after the bell more broadly, we think there would probably be an additional 5,000 kids who would benefit from school breakfast," she says.

Fitzsimons says most schools offer breakfast in cafeterias before classes begin, but many children don't arrive in time to participate. Offering grab 'n go meal carts at school entrances, she says, is one way to improve access.