Baltimore City Public Schools and Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Maryland Campaign announced a program that will expand the alternative Grab and Go breakfast model in the nation’s 39th-largest school district, thereby expanding the access students in the city’s public schools have to breakfast, according to a press release from Share Our Strength.
Share Our Strength will provide funding for food service equipment in support of City Schools’ alternative breakfast implementation districtwide. This will include four installments of $50,000 over the next two years. [The district will use the money for food service equipment, according to a report on WBAL-TV.]
City Schools has long been a leader in providing free breakfast and lunch to students, but only a third of students eat breakfast at school. This move will increase access to breakfast for children in City Schools, making Baltimore the largest school district in Maryland to offer the Grab and Go breakfast model.
“It’s important that our students start the day ready to learn with a good, healthy breakfast,” said City Schools CEO Sonja Brookins Santelises. “Thank you to Share Our Strength for helping to make breakfast more accessible to more of our students.”
With the Grab and Go model, students pick up convenient pre-packaged breakfast from mobile carts in high traffic areas such as hallways, entry ways, or cafeterias, and can eat in the classroom or other designated areas in the school, which results in higher student participation rates.
School breakfast fuels academic success and kids who eat a healthy school breakfast do better in math, have higher attendance, and are more likely to graduate.
This is a huge step forward for Share Our Strength’s commitment to the City of Baltimore, and towards feeding the nearly one in six Maryland kids who struggle with hunger.
“Share Our Strength is very excited about this new partnership with City Schools,” said David Sloan, Executive Director of No Kid Hungry Maryland. “One of the most effective ways to significantly boost school breakfast participation is to make it part of the school day and this agreement will do just that.”