“If it had not been for the Hunger Relief Alliance and Arkansas No Kid Hungry campaign, I would have never heard of Breakfast in the Classroom—a program that costs us nothing, that makes our grades better, our attendance better, and our discipline better.” Matt Mellor, Principal, Daisy Bates Elementary School, Little Rock, AR
Watch the Breakfast=Success in Arkansas video and find out what teachers, principals, and child nutrition directors are saying about Breakfast-After-the-Bell programs in their schools.
School Breakfast Is Key to Student Success
Improved Academic Performance.
- Children who eat breakfast at school – closer to class and test-taking time – perform better on standardized tests than those who skip breakfast or eat breakfast at home.
- The School Breakfast Program is an important tool for educators to ensure that students have adequate nutrition to learn and thrive and not be distracted by hunger or lack of proper nutrition in the classroom.
Fewer Behavioral Problems.
- Students who participate in school breakfast exhibit decreased behavioral and psychological problems and have lower rates of absence and tardiness.
- Providing students with breakfast in the classroom is associated with fewer disciplinary office referrals
Improved Children’s Diets.
- Breakfasts served as part of the School Breakfast Program provide key nutrients children need every day—and updated nutrition requirements established under the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 have amplified these benefits.
- All meals meet nutrition guidelines that limit sodium and saturated fats and eliminate trans fats.
- Children who participate in school breakfast are more likely to consume diets that are adequate or exceed standards for important vitamins and minerals than those who do not eat school breakfast or who have breakfast at home.
- Children and adolescents who eat school breakfast are significantly less likely to be overweight, while skipping breakfast is associated with a higher risk of obesity.
- School breakfast also helps build lifelong healthy eating habits
Resources You Can Use
Check out the newest way to boost breakfast participation numbers and give kids what they want for breakfast by adding Smoothies to your breakfast menu. Here’s how. Getting Started with Smoothies at Breakfast
Community Eligibility Program: Ensuring All Kids Eat Breakfast and Lunch
The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) makes it easier for high need schools to serve free meals—both breakfast and lunch—to all students by removing the need for schools to collect paper applications. Because implementing community eligibility means schools are serving breakfast to all students at no charge, it is a great way to maximize the benefits of breakfast models such as Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab & Go and Second Chance Breakfast. Schools and nutrition advocates should work together to plan how they will implement this provision.
Making A Difference in Arkansas Schools
Benefits of Community Eligibility
Community eligibility has a number of benefits to students and schools. It helps schools reduce administrative costs related to collecting and processing applications and tracking students based on meal eligibility status. Participating schools no longer have to collect payments during the meal service. It can also reduce stigma because all students are eating meals at no cost, regardless of their income status.
According to an analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Food Research and Action Center, the first three community eligibility pilot states, Illinois, Michigan, and Kentucky, have already seen success. Schools participating in CEP in these three states saw an increase in lunch participation of 13 percent and an increase in breakfast participation of 25 percent.
Urge your school principal or superintendent to sign up for the Community Eligibility Program. It’s the best way to make sure all of our kids get the nutritious meals they need. Click here for more on Community Eligibility.
Hungry Children Have Difficulty Learning
Three out of four teachers surveyed as part of Share Our Strength’s Hunger in Our Schools 2015 report said they have students in their classrooms who regularly come to school hungry. Studies show that children who eat a healthy breakfast have better overall academic achievement, fewer headaches and stomach aches, better concentration, fewer behavioral issues and better outcomes than those who skip breakfast regularly. The health benefits are clear too: students who eat breakfast generally have better vitamin and nutrient intake and are less prone to being overweight or obese. So with this overwhelming body of knowledge, why are so many kids coming to school hungry?
Barriers to Breakfast
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. But all too often participation rates in these programs are low. In Arkansas, only 55 percent of children who receive a free or reduced-price lunch currently participate in the School Breakfast Program. Early work schedules and transportation, social stigma, and children with finicky eating habits all contribute to kids missing breakfast in the morning. Too often that means children start off the day at a disadvantage, without the energy to learn and participate. The Arkansas No Kid Hungry campaign is actively working with educators to change the picture.
Breakfast After the Bell Models Break Down Barriers
Models Break Down Barriers
There are creative, low-cost ways of increasing school breakfast participation and new regulations that make it easier to include more children. The Arkansas No Kid Hungry campaign works with superintendents, principals, school child nutrition directors, teachers, parents and students to implement new ways to serve breakfast such as offering Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab & Go, Second Chance, Grab & Go Smoothie and other options that make breakfast part of every students morning schedule. Increased breakfast participation rates also means more federal dollars coming into the child nutrition departments.
According to educators who have introduced Breakfast After the Bell programs, they have positive effects for their students:
Breakfast Matters. We can help.
If you’re interested in increasing the effectiveness of your school breakfast program let our Breakfast Advocates― most of whom are retired administrators and food service directors themselves ― fill you in on how easy and effective alternative breakfast models can be.
Breakfast Program Director
501.399.9999 or 501.276.6715
Arkansas Meals for Achievement Pilot Grants
The Arkansas Meals for Achievement pilot program, authorized by Act 383 of 2013, will provide grants to schools choosing to implement an alternative breakfast delivery model as part of the school day to all students at no charge, regardless of family income. The goal of the program is to increase the number of students eating school breakfast. The grants are intended to complement federal funding and will help cover the cost of providing a free meal to students who would normally pay for school breakfast. Funding for the remainder of the students is provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) School Breakfast Program.
Arkansas No Kid Hungry School Breakfast Grants
Grants from Share Our Strength and the Arkansas No Kid Hungry campaign help expand school breakfast participation. This non-competitive grant is available to schools starting an alternative breakfast delivery model, such as Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab & Go, Second Chance, Grab & Go Smoothie or other models. These funds, if awarded, will pay for supplies and equipment to implement the model.
The grant application period for the 2015/2016 school year is now open. Please go to http://grants.nokidhungry.org/
The grant code for Arkansas is ARBREAKFAST. For information or questions contact:
Vivian Nicholson Breakfast Program Director
501.399.9999 or 501.276.6715
About the Arkansas No Kid Hungry School Breakfast Grants
Purpose: Grants will support schools with the purchase of approved equipment, materials and initiatives facilitating alternative breakfast delivery models (such as Breakfast in the Classroom , Grab & Go Breakfast, Second Chance Breakfast or Grab & Go Smoothie) in an effort to increase student participation in school breakfast.
Eligibility: Applying schools must either be implementing or be prepared to implement an alternative breakfast delivery model. Successful models include collaboration of everyone in the school district; including the school principal, teachers, child nutrition director, and the superintendent. All applications must have authorized approval by the school principal and child nutrition director.
Requirements: Grant funding must be used for equipment, supplies or materials associated with expanding the school breakfast program, specifically the implementation of an alternative breakfast delivery model.
Allowable uses include (but are not limited to):
- the purchase of equipment, such as insulated bags and grab-and-go carts
- the purchase of supplies, such as trash cans, bags or other items associated with operating the breakfast program
Optional: If an application is submitted for the above allowable uses, we will also consider requests for healthy breakfast modeling projects (up to $500 to purchase teacher breakfasts)
Process: The average grant amount will be $3,000 per school. To be considered for a grant award, applicants must submit complete applications; incomplete applications will not be considered.
Grant applications will be evaluated based on:
- Adherence to Eligibility and Requirements Guidelines
- Program sustainability beyond the grant-funding period
- Growth potential for breakfast participation
Please refer to detailed instructions on how to create a profile in our online Applicant portal by downloading this PDF document: No Kid Hungry Grant Application Instructions
If you have any questions about the information asked for in the application or the school breakfast program in general, please contact:
Breakfast Program Director
501.399.9999 or 501.276.6715