Food Bank of Delaware releases second edition of Breakfast First: A Statewide School Breakfast Report

June 21, 2017

The Food Bank of Delaware released the second edition of Breakfast First: A Statewide School Breakfast Report yesterday afternoon at Legislative Hall. Delaware senators and representatives were among the first to review the report.

The second edition of the report focuses on House Bill 408, passed by the 148th Delaware General Assembly and signed into law by Former Governor Jack Markell in September 2016.

The law aims to help increase school breakfast consumption across the state through alternative breakfast models such as Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab and Go and Second Chance Breakfast. Starting in in the 2017-2018 school year, every public school, including charter school sites, participating in the Community Eligibility Provision will be required to offer a breakfast at no cost to every student in the school through an Alternative Service Model.

“Research has shown that students who eat breakfast at school have better attendance rates, a reduction in disciplinary problems and improved test scores,” said State Representative Ed Osienski, 24th District and sponsor of the bill. “Breakfast may be available in our Delaware schools, but we know that many kids who need that healthy meal to start the day still aren’t getting it – and we’re not just talking about students from needy families. We’ve seen how successful school breakfast programs can be when schools and policymakers think outside the box, and we want that success in our state.”

To help schools implement these new models, the report features stories from best practice schools including Seaford High School, Milford Central Academy and AI. DuPont High School.

At these three schools, breakfast is successful because administrators are committed to ensuring that breakfast is convenient and accessible. Featured in the report, Kevin Palladinetti, Principal at A.I. DuPont High School, said, “We don’t have teachers complaining, they recognize that providing breakfast is an important part of ensuring the success of our students. The school nutrition staff here has it down. They are doing a great job.”

“While the state of Delaware ranks 11th in the nation for school breakfast participation, we cannot rest on our laurels,” said Food Bank of Delaware President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “For every 100 low-income children participating in school lunch there are still 38.5 children who are not receiving a nutritious breakfast. We know that breakfast is critical for getting the day started on the right foot. We hope this report will help educators implement breakfast models that are proven to increase participation. The Food Bank of Delaware will not stop advocating until 100 percent of Delaware students receive breakfast.”

The release of the report is timely as Delaware was recently selected by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices as one of 10 states and territories to participate in a learning lab on state strategies to reduce childhood hunger.  First Lady Tracey Quillen Carney will lead a team from Delaware on identifying ways to expand access to school breakfast, support innovation in summer meal programs and streamline eligibility determination for free meals.

“Having met with our own experts in Delaware, as well as leaders of school nutrition programs from other states, I have no doubt that increasing participation in and access to school breakfast is one of the most promising strategies in our effort to fight childhood hunger,” said Quillen Carney.

To read the report in its entirety, click here!

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