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Dallas ISD Singled Out For Good Nutrition In New Rankings

Bill Zeeble
KERA news

One in five Texas families doesn't have enough food to eat. As a result, many kids go to school hungry. That’s why school nutrition programs are so important -- and why, for the first time, the nonprofit Children At Risk, decided to rank them.

The Dallas school district was honored for having a stand-out school food program. There are 63 districts in Texas with at least 10,000 kids, 60 percent of them qualifying for free or reduced meals. Dallas ISD is one of them, and also has one of the top ten nutrition programs.

Children At Risk has always ranked schools for academics. Managing Director Ron Sylvan says nutrition plays a big role in students doing well in school.

“I think that people sometimes fail to realize the connection between kids having full stomachs when they walk into the classroom and how that impacts their ability to learn," he says.

The rankings were based on participation in school meal and after-school meal programs. Dallas was the only North Texas district in the top ten. Brownsville, San Antonio and Rio Grande City also made the list. See more of the rankings here.

The districts ranked the highest had about 80 percent of eligible students eating breakfast at school.

Courtney Collins has been working as a broadcast journalist since graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 2004. Before coming to KERA in 2011, Courtney worked as a reporter for NPR member station WAMU in Washington D.C. While there she covered daily news and reported for the station’s weekly news magazine, Metro Connection.