2.4.8 Percentage of students who participated and who did not participate in a Toronto District School Board breakfast program, by academic and health indicators, Canada, 2010/11

On track for graduation Achieved an 'excellent' or 'good' notation on their report card for class participation Self-rated health as excellent At-risk in Science Achieved an 'excellent' or 'good' notation on their report card for homework completion Achieved or exceeded provincial standards in reading
Ate breakfast at school most days 78 72 75 28 64 61
Never had the morning meals or only ate a few days a week 61 60 58 44 55 50

Source: Toronto District School Board. Feeding our Future. The First and Second Year Evaluation. 2012. Accessed April 8, 2018. https://beta.images.theglobeandmail.com/archive/01405/Feeding_Our_Future_1405357a.pdf

The Toronto District School Board followed 6,000 students in four middle schools and three secondary schools in 2008 and 2009 where a free breakfast was offered before or during first period.

The study was in the Jane and Finch neighbourhood schools after an internal student census showed that 51% of elementary students and 68% of high school students came to school without eating breakfast.

The neighbourhood has high rates of poverty, immigration and violence as well as several health challenges such as diabetes and poor nutrition.

After participating in the program, 82% of the children said having the breakfast kept them from feeling hungry, while 70 per cent said it boosted their energy levels and 66% said it helped the family save money. The study showed students who ate the morning meals were 3% less likely to be suspended and more likely to attend school regularly. Seventy-eight percent of the students who participated in the program most days were on track for graduation compared with 61% of those who never had the morning meal or only ate a few days a week. Students who were participating in the breakfast program were more likely to participate in class and complete their homework. They were more likely to meet or exceed provincial standards in reading.