Over 300-thousand Ohio children receive school breakfast.
A new report finds more children in Ohio and around the nation are participating in school breakfast programs. But experts say there is plenty of room for improvement.
The study, conducted by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), shows that more low-income students are being served a nutritious breakfast at school compared to the previous year.
The state of Ohio is currently ranked 25th overall for effectiveness in reaching low-income kids. John Charlton with the Ohio Department of Education says they hold trainings with districts every year to explore ways to get more children involved.
"We also do a series of webinars so that school employees can log in from their computers and then kind of get an idea of where the program is going, what the new requirements are and things of that nature, each year to find out what they can do and raise participation locally."
Crystal FitzSimons, Director of School Programs at FRAC, says the healthy breakfasts are usually served in classrooms, or available as a grab-and-go option to take to a desk. She notes that the most successful programs offer breakfast to any student who wants one, and they don't have to go to the cafeteria to get it.
"So the kids are able to eat with their classmates. They eat while the teacher is taking attendance or doing the first morning lesson."
Charlton says studies show that children who get a nutritious breakfast do better in school, and good nutrition is also important for young children's brain development.
"Children are going to do better in school if they have full tummies, you want to make sure not going hungry, that they are more concerned about school work than where their next meal is coming from."