Thanks to the School Breakfast Initiative, there is help to ensure that schools make sure students start the day with breakfast.
In Richfield Michigan, three schools will be able to take advantage of the School Breakfast Initiative. Richfield High School, Richfield Middle School and Sheridan Hills Elementary School are among 120
schools that will receive funds next school year.
The program is administered by the Children’s Defense Fund and Hunger-Free Minnesota, and will award the selected schools $2,500 in unrestricted funds for breakfast participation. There will be an additional incentive of 25 cents for every additional meal served over the current school year’s totals.
It will be the second year in a row that the three schools have been selected for the program, although the per meal incentive is only 10 cents for the current school year.
Independent of the School Breakfast Initiative, the Richfield School District had already taken measures to promote breakfast before the award announcement came last month. In October, Richfield schools began handing out free breakfast to all students with funding from the federal School Breakfast Program.
“We just felt it’s so important for the kids to be ready to learn,” said Deb LaBounty, supervisor of food services in the district.
Since the free breakfasts began, in-school consumption of morning meals increased by 33 percent at RHS, 78 percent at RMS and 50 percent at Sheridan. The three Richfield schools were selected for the program – out of the 380 schools that applied – at least in part due to their above-average rates of students who qualify for free and reduced-price lunches.
In addition to offering free breakfast, Richfield schools have taken measure to make it more convenient. At Richfield Middle School, for instance, one barrier has been time – students were worried that eating breakfast in the cafeteria would make them late for class, LaBounty said.