Fast Facts about School Breakfast

  • Nationally, 93 percent of educators are concerned about the long-term effects hunger could have on children's education.
  • Close to 60 percent (almost 900,000) of NC students in traditional public preK-12 schools are eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.
  • More than a fourth of NC schools are CEP, meaning the school is confirmed by the USDA to be area-eligible due to severe economic need under the federal Community Eligibility Provision so that all school meals can be served free.
  • Effectively all (98.4 percent) of NC schools that operate the National School Lunch Program also operate the School Breakfast Program.
  • Statewide, only 58 low-income children eat school breakfast for every 100 who eat school lunch.
  • If the entire state could reach 70 low-income children eating breakfast for every 100 who eat lunch, an additional 87,000 children—who likely depend on school meals as their daily nutrition—would be able to fuel their school day with a nutritious breakfast.
  • That 70 percent milestone has already been achieved by 31 of our 118 school districts.
  • Growing participation from the current 58 percent to the 70 percent goal would mean more than $24 million annually in additional funding for our state.
  • Other potential impacts of reaching the 70 percent milestone statewide could be:
    • 129,000 additional days of school attended per year
    • 87,000 students having better scores on math tests per year
    • And more than 21,000 additional students could graduate from high school.


NC DPI Oct. 2016
FRAC Feb. 2017