PARTNERS FOR BREAKFAST IN THE CLASSROOM AND CHILDREN’S HUNGER ALLIANCE HELP 11 OHIO SCHOOL DISTRICTS INCREASE BREAKFAST PARTICIPATION
More than $500,000 in Grants Help Schools Provide Free Breakfast to Ensure More Children Are Nourished and Ready to Learn
COLUMBUS – March 5, 2018– Children’s Hunger Alliance today announced it has joined with Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom to assist Ohio schools in receiving grants totaling more than $500,000 to offer free breakfast in the classroom to students. In recognition of School Breakfast Week from March 5-9, several schools across Ohio are opening their doors to highlight the benefits of their recent implementation of Breakfast in the Classroom – a proven best practice that helps improve learning environments by ensuring students receive a healthy meal at the start of the day.
“We have known for years that breakfast is the most important meal of the day – and we hear from principals and teachers that students are more focused and ready to learn when they start the day with a healthy meal,” said Judy Mobley, President and CEO of Children’s Hunger Alliance. “We are grateful to Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom and the Walmart Foundation for their partnership and support to ensure Ohio children are given the food they need to help them succeed in the classroom.”
Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom program is a joint initiative from the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), National Association of Elementary School Principals Foundation (NAESPF), the School Nutrition Foundation (SNF), and The NEA Foundation – collectively known as the Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom. The Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom worked in conjunction with the Ohio Education Association, Ohio Association of Elementary School Administrators, School Nutrition Association of Ohio, and Children’s Hunger Alliance to identify schools that had a high percentage of students who qualify for free or reduced-price meals and wanted to increase their daily participation in the school breakfast program. The following schools are working to offer free breakfast in the classroom for students in the district:
- Canton Local Schools, Stark County – Media event to be scheduled
- Garfield Heights City Schools, Cuyahoga County – Media event scheduled for March 8
- Gallia County Schools, Gallia County – Media event scheduled for April 18
- Indian Creek Local Schools, Jefferson County – Media event scheduled for March 6
- Logan Hocking Schools, Hocking County – Media event scheduled for March 14
- Newark City Schools, Licking County – Media event to be scheduled
- Scioto Valley Local Schools, Pike County – Media event scheduled for April 11
- Southern Local Schools, Meigs County – Media event scheduled for March 7
- T2 Honors Academy, Cuyahoga County – Media event scheduled for March 6
- Wellston City Schools, Jackson County – Media event scheduled for March 9
- Winton Woods City Schools, Hamilton County – Media event to be scheduled
While most U.S. schools offer meal programs, many students do not participate in cafeteria-based school breakfast programs because of bus schedules, late arrivals to school, pressure to go directly to class or reluctance to be labeled as “low income.” In Ohio, where more than 1 in 5 children live in food-insecure homes, breakfast each day is not guaranteed. Yet, according to a recent FRAC report on school breakfast in Ohio, only 56% of children who receive a free or reduced-price lunch are also eating school breakfast. Improving access to school breakfast allows more students to reap the nutritional and academic benefits associated with a morning meal.
Offering breakfast in the classroom as part of the school day reworks how school breakfast is delivered. Recipients of the Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom grants, funded by the Walmart Foundation, will offer breakfast to all students at no charge, while moving meals from the cafeteria to the classroom improves participation in the federally-funded School Breakfast Program and boosts learning and health.
The Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom selected districts from ten states to participate in the program based on need and potential for success. The other states participating in the program are: Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah.
As more schools adopt the Breakfast in the Classroom approach, the Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom anticipate participation in the federally-funded School Breakfast Program will increase, helping reduce hunger and improve educational achievement nationwide.