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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Providing a Free Breakfast to All Public School Students Would Be Costly for Most School Districts, Report No. 09-05, February 2009
Full report in PDF format

Most public schools make breakfast available to students, but on average only 21% of students participate. Establishing a free breakfast program serving all students could increase participation but would be costly to implement. The cost of implementing a free breakfast program would exceed breakfast revenues for most district school food service programs. We estimate that the revenue shortfalls of these districts would total $33 million to $69 million for the 2010-11 school year. However, such a program could be implemented within projected revenues in many districts’ high poverty schools in which 80% or more of students are eligible for free or reduced price meals. Available federal reimbursements, commodities, and state general revenue for these schools would meet or exceed the costs of providing breakfast meals.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Education System
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Public Schools (K-12 Education)

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 09-04 School Districts’ Food Service Programs Generally Are Not Financially Self-Sufficient,published in January 2009
  • Report No. 09-03 No Changes Are Necessary to the State’s Organization of School Nutrition Programs,published in September 2009
  • Report No. 09-02 Best Practices Could Help School Districts Reduce Their Food Service Program Costs,published in September 2009
  • Report No. 08-67 State Food Safety Programs Should Improve Performance and Financial Self-Sufficiency,published in December 2008
  • Report No. 04-32 Some School Districts Can Take Steps to Reduce Their Food Service Costs and Ensure Self-Sufficiency,published in May 2004
  • Report No. 04-26 With Effective Planning, Accountability, and Oversight, School Districts Can Successfully Outsource Services,published in March 2004
  • Report No. 04-10 School Districts Can Take Steps to Substantially Reduce Their Transportation Costs,published in February 2004
  • Report No. 03-62 School Districts Can Take Steps to Reduce Facility Operating Costs Through Conservation, Productivity,published in November 2003

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
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