This year’s Healthy Start Award Ceremony recognized 160 schools from 33 districts across the state with a $500 unrestricted grant award for sustaining 80%+ participation rates in their school breakfast programs. Holyoke Public Schools received the 2018 Healthy Start Leadership Award and accompanying $10,000 grant for their commitment to expand free, after the bell, breakfast in the classroom (BIC) programming across all district schools serving grades PreK-12. For a full list of Healthy Start Schools please click here.
This report ranks the state’s 638 high poverty schools on their school breakfast participation rates – a measure of success for alleviating childhood hunger. Despite increases in school breakfast participation over the past three years, nearly 153,000 low-income students are still missing out on a nutritious morning meal each school day. By moving breakfast to after the bell when students are in attendance, everyone has equal access to the meal and participation soars leading to better academic and health outcomes for kids. If all high poverty schools adopted and ran optimal after the bell programs, they would draw down an additional $32 million in USDA funds to cash-strapped district nutrition departments statewide.
ATB BIC is proven to boost school breakfast participation, fuel student learning, improve student wellness, and leverage untapped federal reimbursements to support improvements to school nutrition departments. Click here to access the grant application.