(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a new $2 million investment to improve the quality of school breakfast and increase participation in the School Breakfast Program at 104 public and public charter schools across Washington, DC where most students qualify for free or reduced-price meals.
“We know that students who eat a healthy breakfast are better prepared to engage and learn in school,” said Mayor Bowser. “With this investment, we can support more families, get more students connected to the Student Breakfast Program, and build healthier classrooms and communities.”
The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) awarded School Breakfast Expansion Grant funds to 18 local education agencies that serve pre-K through grade 12 students at 104 schools where at least 75% of students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals, a national indicator of poverty. The grants will help schools reduce food insecurity, or a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life. According to the DC Food Policy Council’s report, “Food Access & Food Security in the District of Columbia: Responding to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency,” the pandemic significantly impacted food insecurity in the District.
“While a growing number of DC students are food insecure, not all students who are eligible for the School Breakfast Program are participating in the program and we’re hoping to change that through these grants,” said State Superintendent Dr. Christina Grant. “We are excited to support schools in increasing student participation in the school breakfast program, leading to increases in health and academic outcomes.”
Grantees may utilize the funds from the breakfast expansion grant in a variety of ways with most schools opting to purchase meal service equipment, such as breakfast in the classroom bags, shelves on wheels, and warmers - that will bring breakfast directly to students and ensure every child has access to a nutritious breakfast to start the school day.
- Apple Tree Early Learning Public Charter School (PCS)
- Cedar Tree Academy PCS
- DC Public Schools (DCPS)
- DC Department. of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS)
- Eagle Academy PCS
- Friendship PCS
- Howard University Middle School
- IDEA PCS
- Kingsman Academy PCS
- KIPP DC PCS
- Mary McLeod Bethune PCS
- Monument Academy PCS
- Seed PCS
- Social Justice School PCS
- The Children's Guild PCS
- Two Rivers PCS
- Washington Global PCS
- Washington Leadership Academy PCS
“Too many children rush to school in the morning and start the day on an empty stomach. But research proves that skipping breakfast comes at a price – impacting academics, behavior, attention and so much more,” said Patricia Brantley, Chief Executive Officer of Friendship Public Charter School, which received one of the grants. “Beyond test scores, feeding our children and ensuring that they begin each day with a nutritious, healthy, good breakfast is just the right thing to do. We are overjoyed to have dedicated funding to make breakfast even better for all students and give more the chance to start the day well-fed.”
To learn more about the grant and the School Breakfast Program in DC public and public charter schools, visit OSSE’s website.