February 3 — 1:49 pm, 2016

Breakfast participation varies widely

Every student who attends a Philadelphia District school is entitled to a free breakfast and lunch as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s school feeding program – because for a high-poverty district, it’s simply more economical and efficient to feed everyone.

Under the “community eligibility provision," or CEP, students are automatically eligible for free school meals if their family qualifies for other federal assistance programs such as SNAP (food stamps). The School District of Philadelphia has certified through state records that enough of its students fall into this category to warrant a universal feeding program.

But participation rates vary widely across the District, especially for breakfast.

Depending on the poverty level of the student body, charter schools can also be certified under CEP and provide free meals to all their students. If a school is certified as having CEP status, all students are entitled to free breakfast and lunch, regardless of individual economic status. Schools that aren’t certified as CEP participate in the USDA program, but free or reducedprice meals are available only to individuals who qualify. Some charters contract with the School District for food services, others with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Some engage private contractors.

Note: Breakfast participation rates for charter schools were determined by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and are for October, 2014. Rates for District schools were calculated by the Notebook from School District data for the full 2014-15 school year, and do not factor in school attendance.

Charter schools with breakfast participation rates below 20%, October 2014

  • Charter High School for Architecture & Design
  • Christopher Columbus (2 sites)
  • Delaware Valley Charter High School
  • Discovery
  • Esperanza Academy (2 sites)
  • Franklin Towne Charter High School
  • Freire (2 sites)
  • Keystone Academy
  • Khepera (2 sites)
  • Laboratory (3 sites)
  • MaST Community
  • Mastery – Lenfest Campus
  • Mastery – Harrity Campus
  • Memphis Street Academy @ JPJones
  • Multi-Cultural Academy
  • New Foundations (2 sites)
  • New Media Technology
  • Northwood Academy
  • Philadelphia Academy
  • Philadelphia Electric & Technology
  • Philadelphia Performing Arts (3 sites)
  • Tacony Academy Preparatory Charter High School
  • Truebright Science Academy Charter School (CLOSED)
  • Universal Vare
  • World Communications

Charter schools with breakfast participation rates above 80%, October 2014

  • Boys’ Latin of Philadelphia – Middle School
  • Harambee Institute of Science & Technology
  • Imani Education Circle
  • KIPP Philadelphia
  • KIPP Philadelphia Elementary Academy
  • Mastery – Mann Campus
  • Philadelphia Charter for Arts & Sciences at H.R. Edmunds
  • Tacony Academy (K-8)

There are eight charter schools for which state data were not available: Eastern University Academy, Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures, Birney, Green Woods, Imhotep, Philadelphia Montessori, Preparatory Charter, and YouthBuild.

Data from Pennsylvania Department of Education, Division of Food & Nutrition

District schools with average daily breakfast participation below 20% of enrollment, 2014-15

  • Adaire
  • Barry
  • Bartram
  • Cassidy Academics Plus
  • Constitution
  • Creative & Performing Arts
  • Dobbins Career & Technical
  • Engineering & Science
  • Fell
  • Greenberg
  • Greenfield
  • Huey 
  • Kearny
  • Kensington Health Sciences Acad
  • Kensington Urban Ed Acad
  • LaBrum
  • Mastbaum Area Vo Tech
  • Masterman
  • McCall
  • Meredith
  • Motivation
  • Northeast
  • Overbrook High
  • Parkway Northwest
  • Penn Alexander
  • Powel
  • Rhawnhurst
  • Robeson
  • Science Leadership Acad @ Beeber
  • Strawberry Mansion
  • Thomas A. Edison
  • Washington High
  • Washington Jr., Grover
  • Wilson

District schools with average daily breakfast participation above 80% of enrollment, 2014-15

  • Bryant
  • Hackett
  • Lamberton
  • Lingelbach 
  • Lowell
  • Marshall, John
  • McClure
  • Meade
  • Morrison
  • Muñoz-Marín
  • Olney Elementary
  • Pennypacker
  • Spruance
  • Wister 

Rates calculated by the Notebook. Data are from 2014-15, School District of Philadelphia

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