Provision 2 Of the 25 districts in this study that offer free breakfast to all or many of their students, fourteen use “Provision 2” of the National School Lunch Act as a funding structure. Provision 2 enables schools to provide meals (breakfast and/or lunch) at no charge to all of their students, while reducing paperwork and administrative costs. Under Provision 2, all students, regardless of income, are offered free meals. Schools collect applications for free and reduced-price meals only once every four years. The reimbursement rate for meals for all four years is based on the percentage of meals in the school that are served in each category (free, reduced-price, and paid) during the “base year.” Provision 2 schools are responsible for the difference between the cost of serving meals at no charge to all students and the federal reimbursement for the meals. The increased participation, resulting in increased federal reimbursement, and the significant administrative savings (e.g., fewer applications to process) associated with Provision 2 help offset all or much of the cost differential.
Breakfast in the Classroom Twenty-three of the 29 districts in this study had some type of classroom breakfast program—where breakfast is served after the school day begins—in at least some of their schools during the 2009–2010 school year. Districts used a variety of methods, including “grab and go”, and breakfast after first period for middle and high school students. Allowing students to eat in the classroom dramatically increases participation by making it convenient and accessible to all. It helps families whose early morning schedules make it difficult to fit in breakfast—either at home or in the cafeteria before school starts—due to long commutes and nontraditional work hours. Also, it eliminates the problem caused by tight school bus schedules or school security lines when students do not always arrive at school in time for breakfast before the first bell rings.
Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom
The Walmart Foundation is funding an exciting new initiative—Breakfast in the Classroom—to reduce childhood hunger by increasing participation in the School Breakfast Program. Through Foundation support and a partnership with the Food Research and Action Center, National Education Association Health Information Network, National Association of Elementary School Principals Foundation, and School Nutrition Foundation, five large school districts will move breakfast from the cafeteria to the classroom, thereby providing thousands of additional students with the nutrition they need each day to succeed in school.
The four national organizations involved with the project, collectively known as Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom, equip school districts with the tools needed to ensure a successful program. Funding is provided for startup and equipment costs. The nation’s top school food service experts work with each district to design a breakfast in the classroom service model tailored to its specific needs. Through a comprehensive training, outreach, and promotional campaign, Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom builds support for the program among teachers, principals, and other important stakeholders within the school community.
The five districts taking part in the initiative are: Dallas Independent School District (TX), Little Rock School District (AR), Memphis City Schools (TN), Orange County Public Schools (Orlando, FL), and Prince George’s County Public Schools (MD).
For more information see www.breakfastintheclassroom.org
Food Research and Action Center
School Breakfast in America’s Big Cities