Schools Offer Free Breakfast
Attention, hurried parents of Moore County Schools students. We have two words to make next week easier for you: "free breakfast."
As part of National School Breakfast Week from March 4-8, the school system is going to ease the morning madness by offering free breakfasts for all enrolled students.
Moore County Schools Child Nutrition Director Amanda Cagle said the initiative is designed to increase participation in the school breakfast program.
"What we hope to do is to introduce more students to our morning breakfasts, which ordinarily would cost $1 for those students not in the free and reduced food program," Cagle said. "This is a great opportunity for students who might not normally eat breakfast at school to make a good, healthy start to their day."
Chief Finance Officer Mike Griffin said that promoting the connection between a student's breakfast and school performance was the primary reason for the free meal offer.
"Research has shown that kids are more receptive to learning when they are not hungry," Griffin said.
Cagle said that a "stigma" against school breakfasts was another reason for the promotion.
"Some people believe that breakfast at school is only for those students who are on a free and reduced meal plan, but that isn't true at all," she said. "We have a number of paying students who take advantage of this inexpensive breakfast option.
"There is an assumption among some people that breakfast at school is always associated with students who can't afford to pay, and we would like to change that perception."
Schools will be closed for a teacher workday on Wednesday, but other days will feature whole grain pancakes, omelets, French toast and whole grain turnovers as breakfast fare. Yogurt, granola, fruits and cereals will also be served along with skim milk and juice.
"We have two breakfast plans in the system, the traditional breakfast served at most schools, and the 'Grab N Go' meals that are offered at Aberdeen Elementary, Robbins Elementary and Southern Pines Elementary," Cagle said. "The free breakfasts will follow this same format."
Griffin said that while some money will be lost by offering the free breakfasts, the cost is "worth it."
"We generate about $300 per day in breakfast sales, so the week will probably cost the system about $2,000," he said. "We consider this an investment in providing students the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of healthy eating."
Cagle said the school system serves breakfast to about 2,500 students per day.
Breakfast times vary by school, Cagle said. Contact your child's school for more information.
Contact John Lentz at (910) 693-2479 or jlentz@thepilot. com.
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