Changes in meal participation, attendance, and test scores associated with the availability of universal free school breakfasts.

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Lauren Haldeman, Associate Professor (Creator)
David C. Ribar, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: This study investigates student outcomes associated with changes in the availability of universal free breakfasts at elementary schools in the Guilford County Schools ðGCSÞ in North Carolina. In 2007–8, the GCS offered universal free breakfasts in schools with high proportions of economically disadvantaged students. In 2008–9, the GCS reduced its universal free programs, with the affected schools returning to eligibility-based programs. We examine how breakfast and lunch participation, attendance, and reading, math, and science test scores changed across years at affected and unaffected schools. We find that the switch from a universal free to an eligibility-based School Breakfast Program reduced breakfast participation substantially with the largest changes occurring among students who were not eligible for free or reduced-price meals. The changes to eligibility-based provision were associated with decreases in lunch participation for paid-eligible students but not for other students. The changes to eligibility-based provision did not harm test scores or attendance.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2013
school breakfast programs, child nutrition, nutrition, north carolina, guilford county schools, test scores, child school attendance, child nutrition and school performance, elementary schools

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