ERIC Number: ED486541
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Dec
Evaluation of the School Breakfast Program Pilot Project: Summary of Findings from the Final Report. Report No. CN-04-SBP
McLaughlin, Joan E.; Bernstein, Lawrence S.; Crepinsek, Mary Kay; Daft, Lynn M.
US Department of Agriculture
There is concern that low-income children might be coming to school without eating breakfast and still not be participating in the School Breakfast Program (SBP) for a variety of reasons, including a perceived stigma associating school breakfast participation with poverty. One approach to increasing participation in the SBP is to offer free breakfast to all students, regardless of their household income. However, such a universal-free approach to increasing breakfast participation would substantially increase the cost to the federal government. Thus it is critical to know if such expenditures are warranted. Specifically, would the increase in SBP participation by students in elementary schools offering universal-free school breakfast result in improved dietary intakes and/or measures of academic performance? In this context, Congress enacted Section 109 of the William F. Goodling Child Nutrition Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-336), authorizing the implementation and the evaluation of a three-year pilot in elementary schools in six school districts representing a range of economic and demographic characteristics. The two main objectives of the evaluation were to: (1) Assess the effects of the availability of universal-free school breakfast on breakfast participation and selected student outcome measures including dietary intake, cognitive and social/emotional functioning, academic achievement, school attendance, tardiness, classroom behavior and discipline, food insecurity, and health; and (2) Document the methods used by schools to implement universal-free school breakfast and determine the effect of participation in this program on administrative requirements and costs. What these findings suggest is that simply offering free school breakfast to all elementary school students would not, on average, be expected to improve academic or behavior outcomes beyond what occurs in schools already offering the SBP. [This report was also produced by Promar International.]
Descriptors: Student Behavior, Pilot Projects, Attendance, Breakfast Programs, Student Participation, Income, Program Evaluation, Costs, Academic Achievement, Program Implementation, Nutrition
U.S. Department of Agriculture 1400 Independence Ave., S.W. Washington, DC 20250. Web site: http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usdahome.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: Food and Nutrition Service (USDA), Washington, DC.; Abt Associates, Inc., Cambridge, MA.