The School Breakfast Program
The School Breakfast Program remains underutilized: just over half of the low-income children who eat school lunch also eat school breakfast. The traditional school breakfast program — served before school in the cafeteria — misses too many children and creates unnecessary obstacles for low-income families. Strategies that move breakfast out of the cafeteria and into the classroom are the most successful at overcoming barriers to participation.
QUICK FACTS: BARRIERS TO SCHOOL BREAKFAST PARTICIPATION
- Rushed morning schedules and non-traditional work hours make arriving to school early to eat breakfast difficult for busy families.
- Buses arrive too late for children to eat breakfast in the cafeteria.
- The social stigma that the breakfast program is only for “poor kids” keeps the children who need the meal most from participating, especially among middle and high school students.
- The reduced-price co-pay of 30 cents can be a financial barrier for struggling families.
BREAKFAST AFTER THE BELL SERVICE MODELS
Increasingly, school principals are adopting “after the bell” programs, which extend the reach of the School Breakfast Program and enable more students to have the nutrients necessary to perform their best in the classroom.
Breakfast in the Classroom
Breakfast in the Classroom (BIC) is a breakfast service model that allows us to maximize the availability of free breakfast for students. This program ensures that students receive the proper nutrients and energy they need for their instructional day.
Grab ‘N’ Go BREAKFAST
Students typically pick up a bagged breakfast from kiosks located in high-traffic areas of the school building and bring it to the classroom. This model is well-suited for secondary schools, as it provides students with more flexibility in the morning and does not disrupt the flow of schedule blocks.
Second Chance breakfast
Students can get breakfast from a designated location during an extended break after first period. This model also works particularly well in secondary schools because older students are often not hungry early in the morning.