In Vermont, 1 in 7 children live in food insecure households.
Many families in our state depend on school meal programs to feed their children throughout the school week, including breakfast, lunch, and snacks. School meals are a powerful educational support: improving behavior, ability to focus and academic performance. School meals are also an important source of nutrition for all school-age children.
Vermont schools take seriously the notion that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and they’ve embraced serving breakfast to students in a variety of new and creative ways. Students sometimes arrive late to school or have to choose between early morning recess and breakfast in the cafeteria, so many schools are opting to move to breakfast after the bell. This a strategy promoted and supported by Hunger Free Vermont. In every case, participation in school breakfast has increased—often dramatically!
This month, March, the School Nutrition Association celebrates National School Breakfast Week. Schools across the state and country will be promoting their school breakfast programs, sharing stories and inviting community members to learn more about local school meal programming.
Starting the school day (or work day!) with a good meal is key to a happy and successful day. Oftentimes, stressors like time, money, transportation, and more can impact families’ ability to provide breakfast in the morning. This is where schools come in! Schools have stepped up to meet this need and they continue to improve and expand breakfast offerings. In Vermont, we are proud that many of our schools have moved breakfast after the bell in an effort to increase access for students. One such school is Elm Hill Elementary School in Springfield, Vermont—read more about Elm Hill’s success in expanding their breakfast programming on Food Connects's blog.