School Breakfast is one of the most powerful tools we have to combat food insecurity among Montana's youth. One of the most under-utilized Federal Nutrition Programs, it offers huge potential for increasing access to healthy food that kids need to grow, play, learn and reach their full potential. It is also a great way for ANY child to start the day.
Check out this video to find out why offering breakfast in school is so important.
Since 2012 an additional 1,236,000 breakfasts have been served to Montana children as a result of making morning meals part of the day at school. Nationwide, Montana ranks 5th among states with the most growth in Free and Reduced-Price breakfast participation between 2014 and 2016. But even with these successes, Montana can still reach more children. As of 2016 only 127 of the 155 eligible schools in Montana are choosing to participate in a school breakfast program. Our goal is to increase the number of schools serving breakfast to 100%!
Currently, only 34% of kids who qualify for free and reduced-price lunches also eat school breakfast. Our goal is to get school breakfast participation among free and reduced-price students up to 70% of school lunch participation. To increase participation, we recommend that schools consider implementing an alternative service model that makes breakfast more visible, convenient, and appealing to students compared to traditional cafeteria based models. Alternative models that have already been successful in many schools across the state are Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab and Go, or Second Chance Breakfast.
Making breakfast part of the regular school day, just like lunch, helps kids to stay focused, excel in class, and avoid the feeling of being singled out because everyone is eating. We provide a range of resources to help schools design the perfect breakfast program to suit their site, staff and students.
Montana No Kid Hungry has already joined many schools across the state in making breakfast a priority - see the list of past breakfast grantees to get motivated!