A guest post by School Nutrition Foundation Senior Program Manager, Paula Zdanowicz, MPH
It’s a fact: not only is breakfast considered the most important meal of the day, but eating breakfast at school helps children learn. Many school districts participate in the federally-funded School Breakfast program, but participation levels are low. More than 25 million school children come to school hungry; ensuring that these children have access to a morning meal is the goal of the Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom (PBIC) project.
We are ready to kick off our annual weeklong celebration of school breakfast. Recently we shared with you valuable NSBW resources to start the festivities at your school. This week, stay tuned for breakfast centered interviews and special features highlighting the school and community’s commitment to providing schoolchildren with a healthy, well-balanced meal that prepares them for a productive school day.
SNF has been working as part of a national coalition of partners, collectively known as the Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom (PBIC), to expand breakfast. The Partnership is funded by the Walmart Foundation and the Partners have been working together for the past three years with great success. The goal last year was feeding an additional 10,000 students per day in five school districts – we met and exceeded that goal – reaching 10,463 additional children. Currently, in our work in the eight new school districts school breakfast participation has already increased by 96 percent.
Working collaboratively together on the national, state and local levels- involving all stakeholders in the process ensures that the program is a success. This week you will have the opportunity to read interviews from the teachers, principals, administrators, and food service directors who work tirelessly and understand the need for increasing participation, decreasing barriers, and raising awareness of school breakfast programs in our nation’s schools.