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Making Sure Missouri’s Kids Eat Breakfast

Even the best parents sometimes find their kids leaving in the mornings without a well-rounded meal in their bellies. To help ensure that kids are eating wholesome breakfasts, many Missouri schools offer the School Breakfast Program.

Like the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program offers nutritious breakfasts in public schools, nonprofit private schools, and residential institutions across the state. Participating schools offer breakfasts that meet USDA nutrition standards, and eligible students can purchase meals at free or reduced rates.

Studies show that eating breakfast helps students in school: Kids who eat breakfast have fewer behavioral problems, higher math grades, are more attentive in the classroom, and have lower absentee and tardiness rates.

“Eating breakfast also has ramifications on school performance. ‘Study after study shows that kids who eat breakfast function better,’ Dr. Schneider says. ‘They do better in school, and have better concentration and more energy. Dr. Marcie Beth Schneider, M.D., FAAP, is a member of the AAP’s Committee on Nutrition and an adolescent medicine physician in Greenwich, Conn.

Quote taken from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

The School Breakfast Program gives kids in the 89,000 participating schools nationwide the chance to start the school day off right with a healthy breakfast. Your child could be one of them.

Your son or daughter can use the school breakfast program before school each day regardless of your family’s income. Families who meet free or reduced lunch requirements will also receive breakfast at free or reduced rates. If you’re not sure whether your family qualifies for free or reduced lunches, please see the income eligibility guidelines posted here, or contact your child’s school.

You can apply for free or reduced lunches for your child at any time during the school year, so if your family experiences changes in your financial situation during the year, be sure to contact your child’s school.

Just like the National School Lunch Program, school breakfasts are a national program with state and local administrators. The Missouri program is run by the Missouri National School Lunch Program office in Jefferson City, and your child’s school or school district should also have someone on staff who is responsible for the program at the local level.

State Director
School Food Services
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
205 Jefferson Street
Post Office Box 480
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0480
Phone: 573-751-3526
Fax: 573-526-3897

If you’d like to learn more about the resources available to you and your child through Missouri’s public schools, subscribe today to MOParent email updates at the top of this page.


3550 Amazonas Drive, Jefferson City, MO 65109. 573-638-4825