Studies show that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially for children. Eating school breakfast improves children’s educational performance, behavior and health.
As a parent, school staff or community member, you can get involved in helping ensure that children get the most important meal of the day.
- What is the School Breakfast Program?
- Why is breakfast so important for children?
- Enrolling for free or reduced-price meals
- School breakfast report and toolkit
- Funding opportunities for schools
The School Breakfast Program is a federal nutrition program that provides reimbursement to schools that serve breakfast to students who qualify. Yet, according to the Colorado Department of Education, of the more than 217,000 low-income students in Colorado who ate a daily free or reduced-price lunch in the 2010-11 school year, only 87,000 participated in the School Breakfast Program.
Hunger Free Colorado and the other lead partners in the No Kid Hungry Colorado Campaign are working to change that. One goal of their comprehensive five-year plan to end child hunger by 2015 is focused on the statewide expansion of the School Breakfast Program, and they plan achieve that by increasing the number of schools offering breakfast as well as increasing participation by students. Progress is being made: For the 2010-11 school year, 108,509 average daily school breakfasts were served, a growth of 11.25 percent compared to the previous year.
As part of the Campaign, Hunger Free Colorado works with schools and communities to increase participation in the School Breakfast Program by assisting with the implementation of innovative-serving models that incorporate breakfast as part of the school’s morning routine. Instead of the traditional method of serving breakfast in the cafeteria before classes start, elementary to high schools across the state can make it easier for students by offering Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab and Go, Breakfast After First Period or Breakfast on the Bus.
Through efforts to increase participation in the School Breakfast Program, more children and teenagers will now have a nutritious way to start the day in the 2012-13 school year. This includes schools using innovative serving models—like Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab and Go, Breakfast After First Period and Breakfast on the Bus—to encourage more students to participate in and benefit from a school breakfast.
Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day, particularly for children. Those who do not eat a regular, nutritious morning meal may be more likely to struggle with poor academic performance, exhibit behavior problems and experience poor health.
Eating breakfast can contribute to:
- Improved math and reading
- Improved standardized test scores, especially around test-taking time.
- Decreased tardiness and suspensions
- Improved memory, attentiveness and overall health
Now is the time for families to enroll or re-enroll for Free or Reduced-Price (FRP) meals, so their children have access to FRP lunches and possibly breakfast at their school.
Besides ensuring that children start off the day in a nutritious way, there are financial benefits too.
- Families with children participating in FRP could save up to $60 each month, per child, on groceries.
- Those who qualify for or Free or Reduced-Price meals could save more than $1,300 per year if one child participates in the breakfast and lunch program.
Encourage families to complete the process today! Schools have a rolling application process, so they can apply and see if they qualify anytime throughout the year.
Why is breakfast so important for children and teenagers? Are you interested in implementing a new breakfast-serving model in your school? Check out these resources.
Interested in promoting innovative serving models like Breakfast in the Classroom or Grab and Go? Check out these fliers.
School Breakfast Expansion Grant
Apply for a school breakfast expansion grant today! Thanks to the generous support of Share Our Strength, Hunger Free Colorado is able to offer grant funding for initial costs associated with school breakfast expansion programs.
The No Kid Hungry Colorado Campaign is a statewide, public-private initiative of Hunger Free Colorado, Share Our Strength and the Office of Governor John Hickenlooper. Together, the Campaign partners are working to ensure that all children have nutritious food at home, at school and in their communities. In December 2010, the partners released a comprehensive five-year plan to end childhood hunger in Colorado, detailing 10 goals essential to ensuring children’s access to nutritious food. One of the goals involves the statewide expansion of the School Breakfast Program to provide more than 130,000 students with a healthy start to each school day.
Complete and submit this PDF grant application today!
If you have questions about school breakfast expansion funding, contact to Bobbie Jo Tucker, Child Nutrition Breakfast Associate, at (303) 228-7961.