By Dr. Marciene Mattleman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Between 2009 and 2013 the number of students, k-!2, receiving free breakfast in the country’s public schools increased by about two million, now numbering 13 million, according to the Agriculture Department, which oversees the program.

The District of Columbia has the highest percentage of poor children and not surprisingly has shown the fastest growth.

The raise is attributed to the 2010 Healthy Schools Act directing public schools to provide elementary school students breakfast in their classrooms.

For older students, breakfast is to be provided in centers other than the cafeteria – bagged breakfasts from a kiosk or from a cart in the school lobby. Breakfast is supposed to be convenient, where students sit together, removing the stigma attached to free breakfast.

While the program targets hunger, it aims to get kids to try healthy food, reacting to the rise of obesity and diabetes in young people.

Read more in The Washington Post.

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