The Wolf Administration announced the availability of $600,000 in mini-grants for schools to implement or expand alternative breakfast programs and to make breakfast available to all students.
“Students who eat a healthy, nutritious breakfast are in a better position to learn and succeed when they enter the classroom,” said Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera, who made the announcement as part of National School Breakfast Week. “These grants will help more students by enabling schools to initiate a new breakfast program or to bolster an existing one.”
Under the School Breakfast Initiative, first introduced as part of the 2017-18 state budget, grants of up to $5,000 are available for schools to implement a breakfast program using an “alternative serving method,” like grab-and-go, or Breakfast in the Classroom. Schools can also expand an existing program to include an alternative serving method. Breakfast must be made available to all students in a school.
Since taking office, the Wolf Administration has been at the forefront of the issue of food security and nutrition. During his tenure, Governor Wolf has established the Food Security Partnership in 2015, comprised of the secretaries of the departments of Aging, Agriculture, Community and Economic Development, Education, Health, and Human Services; unveiled the commonwealth’s food security plan – Setting the Table: A Blueprint for a Hunger-free PA in 2016; and introduced the School Breakfast Initiative in 2017.
More than 3,000 Pennsylvania schools report that they offer breakfast. However, fewer than half of those schools offer alternative serving methods. Currently, only 50 percent of students who receive free or reduced lunch also receive breakfast.