South Bend This week marks National School Breakfast Week. It’s a week that highlights and promotes the growth of each schools breakfast program. This year’s theme is “Take Time for School Breakfast” and it runs from March 3 to 7.
One of the corporations participating this year is the South Bend School Corporation. The schools made big changes last year with their lunch program and even more changes this year with its breakfast program.
This year, each student has the opportunity to get free breakfast every morning. The school has a large number of kids who already qualify for free or reduced lunch so this is a way to make sure their kids are getting everything they need.
Director of Food and Nutrition Victoria Moore says their lunch numbers were probably triple what they were seeing at breakfast so they knew they had to make breakfast free.
Since making this change, the school has seen a seven percent increase of kids eating breakfast. Moore says it’s not just about feeding these kids but making sure this food sustains them throughout the day.
In order to do this, they have changed ingredients within their products. For example, all of their breads are 51 percent whole grain. The school made fruit and vegetables two separate categories instead of one, so each student has to take at least one fruit of vegetable with every meal.
Milk is a must for each student, but juice is an option in addition. Moore says their juice has calcium in it which helps female students especially. She says they found females in high school and younger don’t get enough calcium.
Moore says for some of these students, breakfast Monday morning is the first full meal they have had all weekend long. This just shows how important these changes are.