Every R-3 elementary student has access to free breakfast now

Breakfast in the Classroom

LDR photo/Steve Smith
Students at Maplecrest Elementary School enjoy breakfast shortly after arriving to begin their school day.

By: 
STEVE SMITH ◆ SSMITH@LEBANONDAILYRECORD.COM

Most people remember eating lunch as a regular part of their school day, but many students now also receive their first meal of the day in the classroom.
 
Late last year, the Lebanon R-3 Board of Education approved the Breakfast in the Classroom pilot program. A free breakfast is now provided to every elementary student in the district during class time, funded by federal and regional grants.
 
Breakfast participation rates are already up from about 30 percent prior to the program to the 90 percent range, according to a school district statement. Late arrivals have dropped significantly as well. Teachers have reported having more teaching time as students are in their rooms ready to learn, and students have higher levels of concentration throughout the day.
 
Bob Albright, food service director, said the people in his department have been happy to take part in the new initiative.
 
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to serve,” Albright said. “We are glad to be able to make a positive impact on the hungry children of the community. This has been a big change for our department and for all building staff. The teachers have been instrumental in the success of the program.”
 
Albright said there is some additional labor required to add breakfast meals to the food service department’s responsibilities.
 
“We had to increase the amount of food service labor hours used in the three elementary buildings,” he said. “Initially we had to make a significant increase and have been able to reduce the amount to a reasonable level. We projected a permanent increase with our initial proposal. We invested $37,688 in equipment and were awarded $20,300 in grants and incentives.”
 
Albright said the average breakfast meal count for the three elementary buildings for August through December 2016 was 278 per day.
 
After the first full month of Breakfast in the Classroom, the average has increased to 588 per day.
 
 
For the complete article, see the Tuesday print edition of The Daily Record, or view the e-Edition online.

Category:

The Lebanon Daily Record

100 E. Commercial St.
Lebanon, MO 65536
(417) 532-9131