N.J. ranks 46th for school breakfast program participation

    New Jersey ranks just 46th for is participation in the National School Breakfast Program, which provides free or reduced-price meals to students in need.

    Aside from a few successful districts in the northern part of the state, most districts fail to serve more than half of the students eligible for the meal.

    Using a report from the nonprofit nonprofit Advocates for Children of New Jersey and data from the state departments of education and agriculture, the Star-Ledger looked at how the Newark and Perth Amboy districts have cultivated successful breakfast programs where other districts have fallen short.

    In Newark alone, 74 percent of eligible students participate in the program, having breakfasts delivered to their desks in the morning before class begins. More than 300 schools in the state are required to have a breakfast program because more than 20 percent of their students qualify for free or reduced-price meals.

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