Take advantage of these resources to help your school provide a healthy breakfast to more students.
- Legislators: Legislators draft the public policy that set guidelines for USDA funded School Meal Programs, After-school Nutrition Programs and Summer Food Service programs. Educating your legislators about the important health, educational and behavioral benefits of breakfast helps them to craft legislation to safeguard these important programs.
- Best Practice: West Virginia saw great success by passing the 2013 Feed to Achieve Act, which required schools to offer both breakfast and lunch to all children (subsidized through public/private sector partnerships), and instructed that schools need to implement at-least one alternative breakfast model for increased access to School Breakfast. Find out more here: http://wvde.state.wv.us/child-nutrition/feed-to-achieve/
- Superintendents: Superintendents can help bring consistency in supporting School Breakfast to all schools in a district. They additionally serve as informed liaisons that can work with local and state government officials, as well as school board members, to get those working within the schools connected to community resources.
- Principals: Principals can be the driving forces for school breakfast within a school, as they have the ability to design the school day’s schedule to be conducive to a school breakfast program. They also support teachers, and can urge them to design curriculum to stress the importance of starting the day with a healthy breakfast—sparking students to participate in the School Breakfast Program.
- School Nutrition Supervisors: School Nutrition Supervisors are experts on what foods children need to be ready to learn each day. These specialists also provide a wealth of knowledge on the federal reimbursement rates for School Breakfast and Lunch programs, and can provide great insight about the structure of the program that will work best for the school population, as well as for the food service and custodial staff members.
- School Nurses: School nurses can educate school officials and community members on the many health-related, as well as emotional wellness-related benefits of breakfast. They can also attest to the status of hunger in the school environment. Many times children visit the nurse’s office because they’re hungry. Nurses can incorporate the School Breakfast program into an integral, school-wide wellness program.
- School Custodial Staff: The Custodians and maintenance workers keep schools running smoothly. They ensure that students’ have a safe, clean environment in which they can learn and grow. Custodial staff can make sure the schools facilitate breakfast programs in a hygienic manner, by giving students access to hand-sanitizing methods, and clearing the food waste in a timely manner. This is particularly helpful in models such as Breakfast in the Classroom.
- Teachers: Teachers serve as role models for students. They can encourage students to participate by eating School Breakfast themselves. They can also engage students in hands-on nutrition lessons to prompt students to get excited about School Breakfast, or offer incentives to increase School Breakfast participation. Moreover, teachers can provide understanding on the logistics of which breakfast models will work best for the school, based on their lesson plans and the classroom environment.
- Parents and Community Members: Strong support from those within the community can greatly encourage schools to implement or expand their School Breakfast programs. Parents can correspond to school administrators to educate tem of the proven benefits of breakfast, and how it will improve the school environment. Meanwhile, they have the ability to motivate their children to eat breakfast at school and get a healthy start to the day. Community members can raise awareness to parents they know, and can connect schools to resources they have available. Many can also dedicate time and expertise into building or distributing materials to support increasing School Breakfast participation.
- Students: Often students provide the greatest input, because they eat the School Breakfast each day! They can be proponents for increasing School Breakfast participation by getting their friends to join them to have breakfast at school. Provide creative ways for them to get involved, such as a School Breakfast poster contest, or choose one student each week to create a featured School Breakfast recipe in line with USDA guidelines.
School Breakfast Infographics:
Healthy Students are Better Students
USDA School Breakfast Toolkit