Mission: To increase breakfast consumption among schoolchildren and spark the academic and nutritional gains associated with the morning meal.
About the Organization: Launched in 2010 by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), the School Nutrition Association Foundation, the National Education Association Foundation, and the National Association of Elementary School Principals, Breakfast in the Classroom works to improve child nutrition and educational outcomes by providing breakfast in the classroom to public school students. The initiative improves on traditional school breakfast programs — which usually are limited to low-income students and provide the meal before the start of the school day — by providing nutritionally well-balanced breakfasts to all students, in the classroom, after the homeroom bell. According to the organization, 2.5 million children in the U.S., or one in six, live in households struggling with hunger — which studies show negatively affects children's development, classroom behavior (including their ability to concentrate), and academic outcomes. In addition to improving students' attendance, behavior, and academic achievement, the initiative also is aimed at reducing childhood obesity by providing students with a healthier breakfast.
Current Programs: Breakfast in the Classroom currently serves breakfast to more than a hundred thousand children in nearly eighty school districts across twenty-seven states, while its partner organizations have served 14.4 million children, nearly 12.2 million of them from low-income families, since 2010. According to the organization, participation in school breakfast programs positively impacts students' mental health, including reductions in hyperactivity, anxiety, and depression, and is associated with fewer disciplinary referrals, lower rates of tardiness, and improved attendance.
Website: Visitors to the Breakfast in the Classroom site can learn more about why it's important for children to eat a healthy breakfast, see a list of school districts where the program has been implemented, learn about national and state and local partner organizations, and/or check out the blog. School districts that are interested in implementing the program can watch videos designed to help them calculate costs, get stakeholder buy-in, determine the best delivery model, and evaluate the equipment needed to deliver it; download best practices tool kits; or apply for a grant to cover the upfront costs of program startup and implementation.
Funding: Breakfast in the Classroom is funded by the Walmart Foundation.