WASHINGTON, Oct. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- As students settle in to the new school year, a free morning meal will become part of even more students' daily routine thanks to Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom (the Partners). For the fourth year in a row, the Partners, a consortium of national education and nutrition organizations, continue to expand efforts to fight against childhood hunger and improve participation in the federally funded School Breakfast Program. The Partners will award grants to school districts with a goal of increasing access to a nutritious morning meal for 30,000 students in 10 states, including: Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah.
Breakfast in the Classroom reworks how school breakfast is delivered by offering a nutritious meal at no charge to all students regardless of their household income, and moving it from the cafeteria to the classroom to improve participation in the School Breakfast Program. While most U.S. schools participate in the program, barriers, including school bus schedules, late arrivals to school, pressure to go directly to class, and reluctance to be labeled "low-income," have caused school breakfast participation rates to be low. Nearly half of low-income children who are eligible for a free or reduced-price breakfast through the federal School Breakfast Program are not eating it, according to a 2015 Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) analysis.
"When schools implement the Breakfast in the Classroom programs, not only does it create a sense of community and family for the students, but administrators see a wide range of benefits ranging from an increase in student attentiveness and attendance to a decrease in discipline and behavior problems," said Scott DiMauro, Ohio Education Association Vice President. "The Partners look forward to helping thousands more children start each school day off right with a healthy, nutritious meal that not only benefits them, but impacts the daily lives of their parents and school staff."
The Partners include the following four organizations: the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) Foundation, the School Nutrition Foundation (SNF), and The NEA Foundation. Through a $7.5 million grant from Walmart Foundation, the Partners will work closely with state affiliates to provide technical assistance and support to school districts in developing and implementing the breakfast program. The Partners' grants will provide funding to school districts to assist with the upfront costs typically associated with starting a breakfast in the classroom program. That includes assisting schools with purchasing large and small equipment, marketing and communication needs, training for school building staff, and short-term school food and nutrition services staffing.
Since 2010, 35 school districts in 18 states have been awarded a grant by the Partners to implement the Breakfast in the Classroom programs resulting in more than 63,000 students starting their day off with a healthy breakfast.
The application is now open for school districts in the 10 states. For more information, to find out if a district is eligible, and review the application, visit www.BreakfastintheClassroom.org.
About Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom
The Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom (the Partners) came together in 2010 in response to their shared passion for childhood nutrition and its potential for improving educational outcomes and child health. The Partners is a consortium of national education and nutrition organizations including the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) Foundation, the School Nutrition Foundation (SNF), and The NEA Foundation. The Partners provide technical assistance and support to school districts to implement the Breakfast in the Classroom programs.
The mission of the Partners is to increase breakfast consumption among schoolchildren and spark the academic and nutritional gains associated with the morning meal through the implementation of Breakfast in the Classroom programs.
Media Contact: Allison Kassel
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SOURCE Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom