Many large school districts across the country reported decreased participation in school breakfast and lunch when the nationwide child nutrition waiver that allowed schools to offer school meals to all of their students at no charge ended, according to FRAC's latest report, Large School District Report: Operating School Nutrition Programs as the Nation Recovers from the Pandemic.
The 91 school districts highlighted in this report included a total of 10,748 schools representing 6,520,586 students.
Average daily participation in breakfast decreased by more than 100,000 students across all surveyed districts — from 1.84 million children participating in breakfast each day in April 2022 to 1.74 million participating daily in October 2022.
Average daily participation in lunch decreased by more than 250,000 students — from 3.61 million students participating in lunch each day in April 2022 to 3.36 million participating daily in October 2022.
Collectively, most school districts served fewer children both school breakfast and lunch in October 2022 compared to April 2022. Thirty-three districts saw an increase in breakfast participation from April 2022 to October 2022, and 28 districts saw an increase in lunch participation from April 2022 to October 2022.
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