“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
“With the 2nd Chance Breakfast we average around 100+ students eating breakfast that would not have an opportunity to eat until lunch. This program is good for our students that arrive at the first bell and for those that are late. In addition to late arrivals, we have 75 -100 students who come to school after an AM session at our local college and these students take advantage of this program as well. Many times we have buses arrive at the first bell or arrive late and the 2nd Chance Breakfast allows us to send these students on to class and they know they can eat 2nd Chance breakfast after second period. Great program! Paul Johnson, Principal, Marion High School, Marion, AR
Watch the Breakfast After the Bell: An Everyday Part of Learning video and find out what other superintendents, principals, and child nutrition directors are saying about Breakfast-After-the-Bell programs in their schools.
2019 School Breakfast Month
The Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance’s No Kid Hungry campaign is pleased to announce three winners of the Books & Breakfast Challenge, an annual contest coinciding with Governor Asa Hutchinson’s Breakfast Month proclamation during March, which encourages schools to go the extra mile in promoting school breakfast. Joined this year by fellow school breakfast supporters with the Arkansas Department of Education’s RISE Reading Initiative, Arkansas Humanities Council, Arkansas Campaign for Grade-level Reading, AETN, and Midwest Dairy, the Alliance celebrated throughout the month the importance of school breakfast in assuring all students start their days focused and ready to learn.
Hungry Children Have Difficulty Learning
Three out of four teachers surveyed as part of Share Our Strength’s Hunger in Our Schools 2017 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. That story is changing in Arkansas. According to the School Breakfast Scorecard 2017/2018, almost 66 percent of children who receive a free or reduced-price lunch currently participate in the School Breakfast Program. That’s a 1.9 percent increase over findings in the 2016/2017 school year report.
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.
Models Breaking 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 flowing into the child nutrition budgets.
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. You’ll also want to refer to the Food Research & Action Center and the American Federation of Teachers Breakfast Blueprint-Breakfast After the Bell Programs Support Learning 2017 report.
Breakfast Program Director
501.399.9999 or 501.276.6715
Good Things Happen When School Breakfast is a Priority
The number of breakfast meals served to Arkansas students has risen steadily since the 2011-2012 school year. This despite relatively stable enrollment figures over the whole period. This rise corresponds to the emphasis by the Arkansas No Kid Hungry campaign and its stakeholders on increasing school breakfast participation. The result? More students are getting a good start to their days.
The other benefit of increasing breakfast participation is that more federal reimbursement dollars are going into struggling child nutrition department budgets. This allows the purchase of higher quality food and added staff.
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
Breakfast After the Bell Media Tool Kit
Want help promoting your new Breakfast After the Bell program? Check out these helpful promotional materials.
Breakfast After the Bell talking Points
MEDIA RELEASE TEMPLATE-Breakfast in the Classroom(2)
MEDIA RELEASE TEMPLATE-Grab & Go
MEDIA RELEASE TEMPLATE-Second Chance
MEDIA RELEASE TEMPLATE-Smoothies
Resources You Can Use
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.
Read the 2018 Full Speed Ahead Progress Report on Grade Level Reading. Many Arkansas schools showed an increase in students’ reading skills after they adopted the Community Eligibility Provision. When you feed kids nutritious food, good things happen.
The Arkansas Times did a great article on CEP and the real life effects it’s having in an Arkansas school.
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.
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 2019/2020 school year is now open. Grants applications for fall funding are due September 27, 2019. See the next section below for details.
About the Arkansas No Kid Hungry School Breakfast Grants
Grants will support schools with the purchase of approved equipment, materials and initiatives facilitating breakfast after the bell delivery models (such as breakfast in the classroom, grab and go, or second chance breakfast) in an effort to increase student participation in school breakfast. Please note that you must submit one application per school for which you are requesting funding. If you would like to request funds for two schools, you will need to submit two separate applications.
Applying schools must either be implementing or be prepared to implement a breakfast after the bell delivery model. Successful models include collaboration of everyone in the school district; including the School Principal, Teachers, the Food Service Nutrition Director, and the Superintendent. All applications must have authorized approval by the School Principal and Food Service Nutrition Director.
Eligible Uses of Grant Funds:
The purchase of equipment, such as insulated bags and grab-and-go carts;
- The purchase of supplies, such as trash cans and bags or other items associated with operating the breakfast program;
- The purchase of technology, such as a point of service machines; and
- The purchase of materials needed for breakfast promotion, such as banners and ads.
- As a general rule, we do not provide funding for the cost of food
Grant funding must be used for equipment, supplies or materials associated with implementing a breakfast after the bell program.
Approved breakfast after the bell models include:
|Breakfast in the Classroom||Breakfast is offered/served in the classroom and eaten in the classroom.|
|Grab and Go to the Classroom, served at the start of the school day.||Breakfast is offered/served from one or more central locations at the start of the day only. Students have the option to eat it in their classroom after the bell has rung.|
|Second Chance Breakfast, served grab-and-go style to the classroom.||Breakfast is offered/served from one or more central locations. Students have the option to pick it up between 1st and 2nd period to eat it in their classroom after the bell has rung.|
|Second Chance Breakfast, eaten in the cafeteria.||Breakfast is offered/served and eaten in the cafeteria between 1st and 2nd period and students have at least 15 minutes to eat.|
|Grab and Go to Common Area (must receive No Kid Hungry preapproval)||Breakfast is offered/served from one or more central locations, and students must finish their breakfast in a common area before going to their classroom.|
Before starting the application, please plan to have the following information available:
- School level breakfast and lunch participation data for the most recent month of October and total school enrollment
- FNS Director and application POC contact information
- Breakfast model you plan to implement, anticipated start date, and when/where you will serve meals
- Key strategies you have taken/plan to take to implement your program and anticipated challenges
- Detailed budget outline of grant request
If funded, you will be required to complete a report on the following:
- Quarterly participation numbers
- Final financial report on use of funds
- Final report narrative report on the successes and challenges of your program over the course of the summer
Grant applications will be evaluated based on:
- Adherence to Eligibility Guidelines
- Program sustainability beyond the grant funding period
- Growth potential for breakfast participation
Maximum requested amount: $5,000
Application Due Date:
- The online application period will remain open until September 27, 2019 for grantees to complete an application.
To apply for a No Kid Hungry grant, please follow the below directions:
- Login to the No Kid Hungry Grants Portal at https://nokidhungrygrants.force.com/
- If you have an account but have trouble logging in, please reset your password or email our help desk at email@example.com
- To begin your application after you have created an account or logged in, click here
- Complete the application and click “save and next” before hitting “submit.”
- If you are submitting multiple applications, you will need to click the link in step three again to access the application.
Have Questions? If you have any questions about the application or breakfast after the bell implementation, please contact Vivian Nicholson at firstname.lastname@example.org. For technical support, please send an email with a description of the issue you are facing to email@example.com and copy Vivian at the above email address.
Breakfast Program Director
501.399.9999 or 501.276.6715