Students in the Pequot Lakes school district have been receiving breakfast for free on school days since December 1, 2014. The goal of this project is to get kids the breakfast they need to help improve the total learning environment.
After 5 months of free breakfast, the results show an average of 5000 more breakfasts are served every month. We started the school year with about 7000 breakfasts served every month and we have increased to 12,000. This number has increased every month and I anticipate it will continue to grow. We will reach a peak at some point, but I do not believe that has happened yet.
Students have reported positively on the free breakfast, as has the staff. At Eagle View Elementary, the students arrive at school with plenty of time to get their breakfast and sit down to enjoy it. The middle/high school students are now used to getting their breakfast by 8:15 when the doors close allowing them to get to class on time. Staff members have commented that the 8:15 end time has decreased the number of students late to class. The middle/high school students have several more options to choose from. They can choose between the ‘’entrée” of the day or several “grab and go” selections. The older students really like the “grab and go” selections, as it gives them the option to go sit down or head directly to class if time is short. Some will grab an item that does not need refrigeration and then keep it in their locker for a later breakfast or snack. We don’t care when they eat it, as long as it is there when they need it!
The School Breakfast Program (SBP) is a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions. It began as a pilot project in 1966, and was made permanent in 1976. The School Breakfast Program is administered at the Federal level by the Food and Nutrition Service. At the State level, the program is usually administered by the State education agencies, which operate the program through agreements with local school food authorities in more than 89,000 schools and institutions.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and I am glad that this program was started many years ago. It has been a success for the Pequot Lakes School District, and I am positive it will continue to be a success for years to come!
-- Patty Buell, Food Services Director