Hopefully you’ve been hearing a lot lately about Breakfast in Classroom programs. Why? Because they can increase school breakfast participation. According to the Food Research and Action Center’s (FRAC) School Breakfast Scorecard for 2009-2010, serving Breakfast in the Classroom is a key strategy for increasing participation rates. And with the passage of the new “Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act” and Child Nutrition Reauthorization, more hungry kids will have access to school breakfast.
In its effort to help end childhood hunger, the got breakfast? Foundation has announced the winners of its Silent Hero Grant Program. Now in its second year, the grants encourage schools to initiate or expand school breakfast programs. Most of this year’s winners will be implementing Breakfast in the Classroom programs.
The winners were announced this week. Below is the news release.
got breakfast?® Foundation Announces Silent Hero Grant Winners
Woodbury, NY, February 8, 2011 – The got breakfast?® Foundation this week awarded seven school districts with its Silent Hero grants that recognize, encourage and reward those silent heroes who help children by participating in the national School Breakfast Program. The grants, totaling $35,000 in awards, encourage schools to start or expand breakfast programs through alternate site or Classroom Breakfasts. The funds can be used as needed – to purchase serving equipment or to develop nutrition education materials, for example.
The Foundation received applications representing school districts ranging in size from as few as 111 students to 145,000 students. “It was very difficult for the Foundation to make a decision due to the number of strong, well thought-out plans we received,” says Sonya Kaster, R.D., L.D.N., S.N.S., Grant Administrator for the Silent Hero Program. “With the economy impacting children in every walk of life – rural, suburban and urban districts – the importance of supporting existing government funded programs is even more important today.”
The seven Silent Hero Grant recipients are:
-Jefferson Parish Public Schools – Marrero, LA
-Worchester Public Schools – Worcester, MA
-Killen Independent School District – Killeen, TX
-Socorro Independent School District — El Paso, TX
-Oceanside Unified School District – Oceanside, CA
-Abilene Independent School District — Abilene, TX
-Bay City Public Schools – Bay City, MI
Grant recipient Joann Knox of Abilene Independent School District in Texas plans to use the grant money to continue its promising “Fuel Up First” Breakfast in the Classroom program at Ortiz Elementary School. By switching from traditional cafeteria breakfasts to Breakfast in the Classroom, the district projects a 50% increase in ADP and nearly 60,000 breakfasts served for the 2010-2011 school year.
Among the challenges Abilene ISD faced with traditional breakfasts was that the cafeteria size was not conducive for the number of student s served. They decided instead to use an insulated mobile delivery unit along with supplies needed for classroom service and cleanup. “After designing a plan of action, we were able to determine a list of volunteer teachers to help each morning, flow of student routine, a cart route for classrooms and plan for proper delivery,” says Knox.
According to Kriste Odell-Farias, Principal at Ortiz Elementary School, “Our campus has already seen the benefits of ‘Fuel up First,’ the most important being the fact that all students are guaranteed a healthy breakfast every day. As a result, our teachers are seeing students who are more ready to learn, more focused on their assignments, and who have a positive start to their school day.”
Most of the Silent Hero grant winners will be implementing Breakfast in the Classroom. According to the Food Research and Action Center’s School Breakfast Scorecard for 2009-2010, serving Breakfast in the Classroom is a key strategy for increasing participation rates.
The Silent Hero Grant Program was created to encourage schools and non-profit organizations to expand the reach of underutilized child nutrition programs, most notably the School Breakfast Program. This is the second year of the Silent Hero Grant Program, which also includes a Summer Meals Grant Program that supports breakfast programs during the summer months.
For information about the got breakfast? Silent Hero Grant Program contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the www.gotbreakfast.org website.