School Breakfast Critical to Addressing Childhood Hunger in Maryland, Yet Too Many Missing Out

Media Contact 
Colleen Barton Sutton

BALTIMORE — March 11, 2024 — The School Breakfast Program plays a key role in fueling children’s health and learning, yet too many children in Maryland are missing out on this proven program, according to a School Breakfast Scorecard released today by Maryland Hunger Solutions.

Maryland’s School Breakfast Scorecard shows that in the 2022-2023 academic year, only 54.4 students ate school breakfast for every 100 who participated in the National School Lunch Program, which fails to meet the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC)’s achievable goal of reaching 70 children with school breakfast for every 100 participating in school lunch.

If all Maryland school districts met FRAC’s benchmark, an additional 63,349 children across the state would have started the school day with a healthy breakfast.

“Children can’t learn on an empty stomach,” said Julia Gross, Senior Anti-Hunger Program Associate at Maryland Hunger Solutions. “While there has been some improvement, we must redouble our efforts to ensure our children receive a healthy school breakfast so they may succeed in the classroom and beyond. As we continue to recover from the pandemic, school breakfast will play a significant role in combating childhood hunger.”

This scorecard is a piece of a larger Maryland School Breakfast report, which is expected to be released later this month. The full report includes recommendations to increase school breakfast participation, such as:

  • Implementing Healthy School Meals for All to remove the barrier of cost for all students;
  • Implementing breakfast after the bell service models, such as breakfast in the classroom, “grab and go,” and second chance breakfast; and
  • Participation in Maryland Meals for Achievement, a state-funded breakfast in the classroom program for schools that meet a minimum Free and Reduced Price meals percentage.


Maryland Hunger Solutions works to end hunger and improve the nutrition, health, and well-being of children and families in Maryland.