Williamsport, Pa. – New analysis from Lycoming Faculty’s Mica Kurtz, Ph.D., affiliate professor of economics, supplies robust proof that weekend pupil lunch packages produce increased studying and math scores in younger college students.
An article on the subject, “Weekend Feeding (“BackPack”) packages and pupil outcomes,” written by Kurtz and co-authors Karen Smith Conway, Ph.D., and Robert D. Mohr, Ph.D., of the College of New Hampshire, was printed within the December concern of Economics of Training Evaluation.
For a lot of college students of low-income households, free faculty lunches and breakfasts will be the solely common meals they eat. BackPack packages ship college students residence on Friday afternoons with nutritious, easy-to-prepare meals to maintain them via the weekend to allow them to arrive well-fed and able to be taught on Monday morning.
Established in Arkansas in 1996, BackPack packages have skilled a progress explosion with greater than 500,000 kids served in 2018, but the topic remained unstudied in economics literature for many years.
The Central Pennsylvania Meals Financial institution operates BackPack packages all through its protection space, together with the Williamsport Space Faculty District’s program that launched in 2017.
BackPack packages are sometimes promoted as enhancing instructional outcomes and customary sense would dictate that that is the case, however there was beforehand a scarcity of concrete scientific analysis on the topic. Kurtz and his group got down to look at the declare by combining knowledge collected from a big Feeding America BackPack program with administrative knowledge on pupil take a look at scores and absences in northwest North Carolina elementary faculties with main knowledge on program participation.
Their research supplies a proper presentation of the causal results of BackPack packages on tutorial efficiency within the type of increased studying and math scores. These results are strong and seem strongest for the youngest and lowest performing college students.
“Childhood meals insecurity is a major drawback for a lot of college students on this nation; we’ve faculty breakfast and college lunch packages to assist, however over the weekend many college students (and their households) can actually battle,” mentioned Kurtz.
“There’s robust proof to recommend that growth of those packages may very well be a value efficient option to not solely scale back childhood meals insecurity but additionally enhance scholastic outcomes for essentially the most needy college students, and this proof is actionable. I might love to search out out that studying our analysis led some localities to undertake a program or develop an current program.”
Learn the total research here.