Every child should start the school day with a healthy breakfast. Studies show that students who skip breakfast generally have slower memory recall, make more errors and are more likely to be absent or tardy and to repeat a grade. Students who eat breakfast generally have better vitamin and nutrient intake, enjoy overall healthier diets and are less prone to being overweight or obese.
Limited food budgets, challenges with early work schedules and transportation, or children who won't eat early in the morning make it difficult for many families to provide a healthy breakfast every morning. Too often children arrive at school without the fuel they need to be active participants in the classroom.
The School Breakfast Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, plays a crucial role in making sure kids get the food they need to focus and excel in the classroom. Barriers, including stigma and transportation logistics, cause school breakfast participation rates to be low.
There are creative, low-cost ways to increase school breakfast participation. The New Orleans No Kid Hungry campaign is working with teachers, principals, school food service directors, parents and students to implement new way to serve breakfast such as offering Breakfast in the Classroom or Grab N’ Go options that make breakfast a part of every students morning schedule.
Check out the School Breakfast video, and Breakfast Challenge for more information. Learn more about how Share Our Strength is working to increase breakfast participation in Orleans Parish.
School Meal Program
Louisiana children have access to breakfast and lunch every day at school through two USDA-funded programs, the School Breakfast Program and the National School Lunch Program. Children are eligible for free or reduced-price meals based on their family's income and can apply at any time during the year. To view the income eligibility guidelines for the 2015-2016 school year, click here. Contact the front office or the nutrition department at your child's school to get a meal benefit application for free and reduced priced meals. You can also get information on what time breakfast is served. If your child cannot arrive at school early to eat breakfast, encourage the school to adopt an alternative breakfast delivery model such as breakfast-in-the-classroom that will ensure your child gets a nutritious, balanced meal at the beginning of their first class. For more information, please call your local school system. If you would like to learn more about how your child’s school can adopt breakfast-in-the-classroom, please contact us.