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98 Schools Compete to Boost Participation in the School Breakfast Program
On Tues., Nov. 1, 98 schools in 33 towns or cities across Oregon launch participation in the November School Breakfast Challenge! Part of the Let’s Do Breakfast, Oregon! campaign, the Challenge supports schools to increase participation in the School Breakfast Program through student and family engagement and by serving breakfast in child-friendly ways—after the bell and free of charge for all students.
School Breakfast in Oregon
Oregon has the eighth highest rate of food insecurity in the country, and one in four kids are hungry. Many students in Oregon classrooms start the day on empty stomachs. The School Breakfast Program offers numerous benefits to kids and schools, including improved nutrition and better attendance and test scores, but only about 24 percent of all students participate in Oregon.
Marcella Miller, Child Hunger Prevention Manager at Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon states, “We have a big opportunity to connect more kids to the program, but schools face many challenges in reaching more kids, including bus schedules and drop-off times, stigma around school breakfast and lack of student and family awareness.”
The Let’s Do Breakfast, Oregon! campaign aims to increase participation in Oregon during the 2016-17 school year by 15 percent, ensuring that approximately 20,000 additional kids start each school day with a healthy breakfast.
2016 November School Breakfast Challenge
By getting more kids to eat breakfast at school all throughout the month of November, schools will be eligible to win one of four cash prizes for their school, ranging from $250 to $1,000. Participating schools represent 18 counties, 29 school districts and 33 cities or towns across Oregon. For a map of participating schools, visit: https://oregonhunger.org/blog/
The Challenge encourages schools to promote their program and garner student and staff involvement in ways that increase interest, including tactics such as:
Sample new or proposed menu items
Allow students to vote on their favorite items
Feature local and seasonal items
Provide nutrition education activities during school breakfast
Ask teachers and principals to talk about school breakfast with students
During the 2015 Challenge, 32 school participated and collectively increased school breakfast participation by 24 percent from the year prior.