We are celebrating the School Breakfast Program with the theme of “Start Your Engines” for National School Breakfast Week in 2019! This theme is designed to show parents, students, and school officials the benefits of fueling up for the day. National School Breakfast Week serves as a tremendous opportunity to raise awareness of the benefits in which the School Breakfast Program (SBP) improves nutrition among kids in school. The program provides 14 million children a well-balanced, healthy meal at the start of each school day, helping to ensure that students reach higher levels of achievement.
National School Breakfast week is organized through an annual partnership between USDA and the School Nutrition Association.
The top priority for NSBW is to increase participation in the School Breakfast Program. You can see this being reflected in its creative approaches to serving breakfast in schools – Grab & Go meals, serving breakfast in classroom (BIC) or even serving breakfasts to all students free of charge. These alternatives to standard breakfast give more kids the opportunity to make breakfast a part of the child’s school day. Check out some fun examples of what you can do for NSBW here! Other Simple ways to celebrate:
- Breakfast-related morning announcements
- Special menu items
- Taste Test
- Reminder of school breakfast times in school newsletter or flyer
- Hold a raffle for students that participate in the breakfast program all week
How the School Breakfast Program Works
The School Breakfast Program is a federally assisted program that provides funds for breakfasts served to students at the beginning of a school day.
The SBP helps ensure that all children have the availability of a healthy, nutritious breakfast. Children from needy families may qualify for free or reduced price breakfasts. To qualify for free meals, a child’s household income may not exceed 130% of the federal poverty guideline, and may not exceed 185% of the federal poverty guideline to qualify for reduced price meals. In addition, children receiving benefits from programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program are automatically eligible to receive free meals.
USDA reimburses participating schools for every breakfast served. These funds are provided to State agencies, which distribute cash reimbursement for every meal served. Schools are reimbursed at established rates for free, reduced price, and paid meals. When a school participates in the SBP, they agree to follow all of the program’s requirements, which include nutritional standards.
- Nearly 12.5 million low-income students participated in school breakfast in the 2017-18 SY
- 93.2% of schools serving lunch also served breakfast.
- An increase of 1.2 percent (nearly 149,000 students) from the previous school year
- While participation has continued to increase, the rate of growth has slowed during the last two school years compared to an average annual growth of 3.5 percent between the 2012–2013 and 2015–2016 school years.
Why do we celebrate National School Breakfast Week?
Our continued effort in boosting the School Breakfast Program increases the number of kids that get the opportunity to eat breakfast before school. When we highlight a week out of the school year, we are able to break down barriers by focusing on incorporating methods of eating breakfast so that all students have the opportunity to eat! A survey done in 2015 stated that 96% of districts said breakfast participation went up during National School Breakfast Week! Now, that is a reason to celebrate! Here are a few other reasons we love to celebrate:
- Improved academic function as evidenced by higher standardized test scores and higher math scores
- Decrease in Behavioral problems as seen in reduced tardiness and absenteeism, and fewer office referrals as disciplinary action
- Improve in children’s diets by increase vitamin and mineral intake and reducing obesity
Thank you for joining us in our celebration of National School Breakfast Week!