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Louisiana Selected to Participate in NEA's Breakfast in the Classroom Program


BATON ROUGE, LA - October 10, 2016 - Louisiana school districts can apply for grant funds from Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom to provide a much-needed nutritious morning meal to local students and help increase participation of the federally funded School Breakfast Program. School districts will be selected based on the number of students that qualify for free or reduced priced meals, average daily participation in the school breakfast program, and district and school-level support.


Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom is a consortium of national education and nutrition organizations including the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), the National Association of Elementary School Principals Foundation (NAESPF), the School Nutrition Foundation (SNF), and The NEA Foundation. The consortium recently selected 10 states to participate in the program based on need and potential for success - Louisiana was chosen as one of the 10 in order to help expand access to a nutritious morning meal for students in need.


Through a $7.5 million grant from the Walmart Foundation, the program stands to rework how school breakfast is delivered, by offering it to all students at no charge and moving it from the cafeteria to the classroom. This is an effort intended to improve participation in the program and boost learning and health.


While most U.S. schools participate in the School Breakfast Program, barriers, including school bus schedules, late arrivals to school, pressure to go directly to class, and reluctance to be labeled “low-income,” have caused school breakfast participation rates to be low. Nearly half of low-income children who are eligible for a free or reduced-price breakfast through the federal School Breakfast Program are not eating it, according to a 2015 FRAC analysis.


“Grant funding from the Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom to help bring healthy morning meals into the classroom would have an invaluable impact on students and we encourage school districts across the state to apply,” said Debbie Meaux, President, Louisiana Association of Educators. “The proven benefits of moving breakfast from the cafeteria to the classroom include better attendance records, less tardiness, fewer behavioral and discipline problems and that’s just to name a few. Those benefits are what the students in Louisiana deserve.”


Since 2010, 35 school districts in 18 states have been awarded a grant by the Partners to implement the Breakfast in the Classroom programs resulting in more than 63,000 students starting their day off with a healthy breakfast. The Partners’ grant will provide funding to school districts to assist with the upfront costs typically associated with starting a breakfast in the classroom program. That includes assisting schools with purchasing large and small equipment, marketing and communication needs, training for school building staff, and short-term school food and nutrition services staffing.


The application is now open in Louisiana. For more information and to find out if a district is eligible and to review the application, visit www.BreakfastintheClassroom.org.

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