CITY OF NEWBURGH – Participation in the Newburgh school district’s free breakfast program ranked third nationally out of the 75 large school districts in the survey, Superintendent Roberto Padilla and Food Services Director Caitlin Lazarski announced on Tuesday.

The 2016-2017 school year ranking was included in the release of “School Breakfast: Making it Work in Large Districts,” an annual report based on surveys undertaken by the Food Research & Action Center.

Newburgh began offering free breakfast to students during the 2015-2016 school year and added free lunches a year later.

"Hunger and poor nutrition take valuable time away from the classroom, where scholars should be focused on learning instead of their next meal,” Padilla said. “Providing a nutritious breakfast promotes equity among our students and allows parents to use precious time in the morning to prepare their students for school, instead of rushing to make breakfast.”