1. Create a state breakfast report
2. Conduct targeted outreach to school districts
3. Hold a “school breakfast summit”
Provide administrative leadership and support to insure that every school in the district offers breakfast and that every student has the opportunity to eat.
Develop and implement effective School Wellness Policies that include insuring that no child begins the school day hungry.
Include school breakfast participation as a measure of success for each school building administrator.
Seek input from Food Service Staff on the timing of breakfast and lunch to insure maximum participation.
Engage in a rigorous outreach campaign each year to get meal applications from all potentially eligible families and to promote the healthfulness of school meals.
Encourage students and their families to take advantage of the benefits of school meals through multiple communications throughout the school year.
1. Pass state breakfast requirements
Many states already have laws mandating that certain schools participate in the program, at least in schools with significant concentrations of low-income students, to guarantee that the School Breakfast Program is widely available. Generally, requirements are linked to a school’s percentage of low-income students. This is defined by the proportion of students who qualify for free and reduced-price meals, or by the proportion of students receiving free or reduced-price lunches. The percentage required before the school must offer a breakfast program varies widely. For example, West Virginia requires all schools to participate, while in Washington State all schools with more than 40 percent of lunches served at free or reduced price must offer breakfast. State legislators in those states that have not yet passed legislation, or where legislation can be improved, should introduce bills that would require an expansion of school breakfast programs.
2. Provide state funding for breakfast
To assist schools in providing breakfast to students, over half the states provide state funds for one purpose or another related to school breakfast: as additional per meal reimbursements (to supplement the federal per meal reimbursement); as start-up and/or expansion funds to finance costs related to the start of new programs or expansion of participation in existing programs; as payment for the costs of outreach; as incentive grants; or to pay for supervision costs. Some states, such as Pennsylvania, provide additional funding in reimbursements for lunch if breakfast is served. State legislators should work to increase state support for school meals in general, and breakfast expansion in particular.
All school districts are required to conduct outreach to children and families to encourage them to participate in the school breakfast program. This outreach should occur regularly throughout the school year and include the following activities: