K-12 Census: Making the effort

As the battle over menu regulations wages on, schools continue to combat increased costs and food waste.

The morning, after

How are required meal patterns affecting school foodservice operators, 95 percent of whom offer breakfast? Implementing the mandates has been less of an issue at breakfast than at lunch, with 53 percent saying participation rates have remained the same. Food waste and costs for morning meals, however, have climbed.

5,017 Average number of breakfast meals served daily.

30% Average daily participation rate for breakfast.

$1.10 Median food cost per meal at breakfast.


How challenging has it been to implement the increased amount of fruit required at breakfast?

35% Not very/Not at all

36% Somewhat

29% Extremely/Very


What has happened to participation since implementing the new breakfast meal pattern requirements?

District size (students) Decreased Increased Remained the same
Total 27% 19% 53%
Less than 2,000 25% 7% 68%
2,000 to 4,999 31% 27% 42%
5,000 to 9,999 25% 20% 55%
10,000 to 69,999 26% 26% 49%
70,000 or more 33% 33% 33%

Percentages may add up to more than 100 due to rounding.


Since implementing the increased amount of fruit required at breakfast, has your food waste increased?

28% No

72% Yes

Since implementing the increased fruit requirements at breakfast, have your overall breakfast costs increased?

14% No

86% Yes

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