D.C. has largest percentage increase in free school breakfasts

Between 2009 and 2013, the rate in D.C. grew by 72%.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—It’s national school breakfast week, and federal officials say that the number of K-12 students who are eating the first meal of the day at school is on the rise.

Between 2009 and 2013, the number of students served free breakfast in the nation’s public schools jumped by about 2 million, with the District of Columbia leading the country in terms of having the biggest percentage increase in participation compared to all 50 states.

Nationally, the number of K-12 students eating free breakfast at school grew by an average of 18.9 percent in the past five years, from 11.1 million in 2009 to 13.2 million in 2013.

But in the District, the rate ballooned by 72 percent over those same years, from 20,431 participating students to 35,038.