Alternative Service Methods Associated With Increased Participation in the School Breakfast Program

Lindsay B. Yeh, Melissa Butt, Elaine T. McDonnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: School breakfast programs (SBP) play an important role in reducing food insecurity and helping provide children with adequate nutrition. Using alternative service methods such as breakfast in the classroom, grab and go, and second chance breakfast may increase student participation. Methods: We compared the SBP participation of students in 194 Pennsylvania schools that received a mini-grant to support the implementation of an alternative service method to participation in the academic year prior to implementation. In addition, we examined SBP participation in 90 schools that did not receive such a mini-grant to determine the change in participation in these schools over the 2-year period and compared this to the change in participation in schools that did receive a mini-grant. Results: Overall, SBP participation in schools that received the mini-grant increased over the 2-year study period, a change that was not seen in schools that did not receive the mini-grant. The largest increases were seen in schools that implemented the breakfast in the classroom model. Conclusions: Alternative service methods, particularly breakfast in the classroom, are associated with increased participation in the SBP and therefore increase access to adequate nutrition and food security for school children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-234
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of School Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Philosophy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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