A $2 million investment is set to expand school breakfast resources in 104 D.C. public schools where most students qualify for free or reduced-price meals, according to a news release from Mayor Muriel Bowser.
A major goal of the investment is to increase participation in the school breakfast program as the 104 designated public and public charter schools meet a national indicator of poverty with at least 75% of students eligible for reduced-cost meals, according to the news release.
The mayor said the decision was made to improve the quality of school breakfast and learning environment for these students.
“We know that students who eat a healthy breakfast are better prepared to engage and learn in school,” Bowser said in a tweet. “That is why my administration is investing $2 million to improve the quality of school breakfast to build healthier classrooms and communities.”
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The $2 million investment consists of School Breakfast Expansion Grant funds allocated to 18 local education agencies that serve students in grades pre-K through 12 at the 104 schools, according to the release. The agencies were awarded the grants by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education.
The agencies can use the funds from their grants in a number of different ways, such as purchasing meal service equipment, breakfast-in-the-classroom bags, shelves on wheels, warmers and more, according to the press release.
The news release listed these grantees:
- 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
Patricia Brantley, chief executive officer of Friendship Public Charter School, which received one of the grants, said that when kids skip breakfast during their rush to school, research shows it impacts academics, behavior, attention and more.
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“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,” said Brantley. “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.”
Since the pandemic, food insecurity in the District has been significantly impacted, according to a D.C. Food Policy Council report. State Superintendent Dr. Christina Grant said she hopes these grants will help reduce food insecurity in schools by encouraging all eligible students to participate in the school breakfast program.