“School Breakfast – Ready Set Go!”is the campaign theme from the School Nutrition Association for National School Breakfast Week, March 8-12. At E S Foods, we are ready to get the word out, are you? Never before in the history of the School Breakfast Program has there been such an opportunity to spread the message about the benefits of school breakfast. Did you know that the School Breakfast Program has been around for 40 years? Today, every school day 10.5 million kids start their school day with school breakfast! But there is so much potential for growth since 31 million children eat school lunch each day. Within these numbers, there are 22 million schol children eligible for totally reimbursed school breakfast each school day – yet only 7 million are being reached.
But the support and awareness is growing! At E S Foods, we are expanding our message to include classroom breakfasts and alternate site breakfasts that go beyond the cafeteria. According to the Food Research and Action Center’s (FRAC) School Breakfast Scorecard for 2008-2009, districts using breakfast in the classroom have the highest participation rates. Here’s some promising news:
- School districts including Newark, N.J., Worcester, Mass., Clint, Texas, and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, have increased breakfast participation from 20% to over 80% simply by classroom and second chance breakfast programs.
- Last month, the got breakfast? Foundation, awarded 8 school districts with Silent Hero Grants to implement classroomm breakfast programs. We will spotlight some of these winners in future blog posts. Check out this great “Breakfast in the Classroom” video from one of the winners, the San Diego Unified School District.
- First Lady Michelle Obama recently unveiled the comprehensive Let’s Move campaign to fight childhood obesity. Last week she addressed attendees at the School Nutrition Association’s annual Legislative Action Conference, where she called upon school foodservice directors to do their part and to offer her gratitude and support. One of the best ways to address the childhood obesity issue is with school breakfast. Research shows that kids who eat breakfast have overall better health and less weight problems.
With efforts made from the individual school foodservice director who decides to give school breakfast a try, to a nationwide campaign to fight childhood obesity, 2010 is the time to bring the School Breakfast Program to the front of the line!