Normandy Schools Collaborative received a $107,000 grant for its 3,300 students from Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom (BIC), a network of national education and nutrition organizations including the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), the NEA Foundation, and the School Nutrition Foundation. Operation Food Search has advocated for the grant and worked with the administration to institute the program at each of the participating schools.
Normandy recently launched the program at Lucas Crossing Elementary Complex and Barack Obama Elementary School with three of the district’s schools – Jefferson Elementary School, Washington Elementary School, and Normandy High School – to offer Breakfast in the Classroom before year’s end.
The program is designed to serve nutritionally well-balanced breakfasts that meet the current USDA nutrition standards for the School Breakfast Program (SBP). The BIC program is an in-class model that encourages all students to participate in breakfast.
- March 4 through 8 is National School Breakfast Week (NSBW). This weeklong celebration launched in 1989 to raise awareness of the availability of the School Breakfast Program, a federally assisted meal program operating in public and non-profit private schools and residential child care institutions since 1975.
- March is also National Nutrition Month, which is a nutrition education and information campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The campaign focuses attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.
States across the country are requiring schools to make the transition toward non-traditional breakfast service like Breakfast in the Classroom. In fact, 12 states have already enacted legislation that require low-income schools with low breakfast participation to implement non-traditional breakfast service.
According to the Food Research & Action Center’s recently released School Breakfast Scorecard, more than 226,000 low-income children in Missouri participated in the national School Breakfast Program on an average school day in 2017-2018. Operation Food Search notes that 17.4 percent of children in Missouri – nearly one in six children – live in households that struggle with hunger.
- On a national basis, 57% of low-income students who participate in the school lunch program also participated in school breakfast.
- In Missouri, 60.9% of low-income students who receive school lunch also receive school breakfast. 6% of Missouri schools that offer lunch also offer breakfast.
- Missouri ranks 15th in school breakfast participation among low-income students. If Missouri reached the national benchmark of 70% of low-income students who eat school lunch would also access school breakfast, it would result in more than $9,490,000 in additional breakfast reimbursement annually by the USDA to participating Missouri schools.