COLUMBUS – October 6, 2016 – Beginning today, Ohio school districts can apply for a grant from Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom (the Partners) to provide a much-needed healthy and nutritious morning meal to local students and help increase participation in the federally-funded School Breakfast Program. School districts will be selected based on the number of students that qualify for free or reduced priced meals, the average daily participation in the school breakfast program, as well as district and school-provided support.
The Partners, which is a consortium of national education and nutrition organizations, selected 10 states to participate in the program based on need and the potential for success. They include Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah. The goal is to increase access to a morning meal for 30,000 students in the 10 states.
Through a $7.5 million grant from the Walmart Foundation, the Partners will offer a school breakfast to students at no charge and will move it from the cafeteria to the classroom. This is intended to improve participation in the School Breakfast Program and boost learning and health.
While most U.S. schools currently participate in the federal School Breakfast Program, nearly half of low-income children who are eligible for a free or reduced-price breakfast are not eating it, according to a 2015 analysis by the Food Research & Action Center. Barriers include school bus schedules, late arrivals to school, pressure to go directly to class, and reluctance to be labeled “low-income.”
The grants from the Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom to help bring healthy morning meals into the classroom would have an invaluable impact on students and we encourage school districts across the state to apply,” said Scott DiMauro, vice-president of the Ohio Education Association. “The proven benefits of moving breakfast from the cafeteria to the classroom include better attendance records, less tardiness, and fewer behavioral and discipline problems. Those benefits are what the students in Ohio deserve.”
Since 2010, 35 school districts in 18 states have been awarded a grant by the Partners to implement the Breakfast in the Classroom programs. This has resulted in more than 63,000 students starting their day off with a healthy breakfast. The Partners’ grant 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 the purchase of equipment, marketing and communication needs, staff training, and the hiring of short-term food staff.
For more information and to find out if a district is eligible, visit www.BreakfastintheClassroom.org.
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About Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom
The Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom came together in 2010 in response to their shared passion for childhood nutrition and the potential to improve educational outcomes and child health. The Partners include 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.
The Ohio Education Association (ohea.org) represents 123,000 teachers, faculty members and support professionals in Ohio’s public schools, colleges and universities