TIME FLIES WHEN YOU'RE HAVING FUN: ELLEN'S BLOG


Wait, February is over already???? Wow, that went by fast, in part because we started a pilot breakfast program at Four Georgians Elementary school!

This particular program came about using some creative thinking. The schedule at Four Georgians is pretty tight- the teachers felt that there wasn’t time first thing in the morning to have breakfast. But! They all have a regular snack time between 10 and 10:30… since lunch doesn’t start till noon, that means our awesome kitchen staff could still serve breakfast at snack time!

After coming up with our initial “snack time = breakfast time” plan, we took a look at the school lay out to figure out how to organize our new breakfast program. We talked to all the teachers to find out when they had snack time, then plotted where to put our carts- we have three of them for that school.

At 10am, one small cart goes to the kindergarten hall, which is right by the cafeteria. Then a second cart goes to the middle of the school, where the first graders are. The third cart zips over to the second and third grade halls, where the kids come out, pick a breakfast, and then leave it on their desk to eat after specials.

After the kids come out to the carts, the carts converge in a masterful display of scheduling on the fourth/fifth grade hall while the fourth and fifth graders are out at recess. All the leftovers get consolidated onto one cart, then two of the carts (and their respective humans) go back to the kitchen to work on lunch, while the last cart standing stays for the flood of fourth and fifth graders who come in after recess at 10:30 like a tiny stampede of hungry bison.

And that’s how breakfast at Four Georgians works! There’s still a traditional breakfast program before school too, and between the two programs we’re feeding around 200 kids a day! That’s about 100 more kids than before the second breakfast program.

Not only are we feeding a lot more kids, I think this program demonstrates how breakfast can be adapted for any school! By working with everyone and thinking outside the box, we’ve been able to create a breakfast program that works for teachers and ensures kids’ access to food at school.

Ellen Harris
Montana No Kid Hungry-PRC AmeriCorps VISTA
Helena, MT