School Breakfast Program
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and the School Breakfast Program ensures it is a healthy one. The program currently serves 24,000 Montana kids every day.
For more information on starting or expanding a Breakfast Program at your school, please contact OPI School Nutrition Programs at 406.444.2501.
Discover School Breakfast Toolkit:
USDA’s Discover School Breakfast Toolkit is a resource that can be used to help increase access to the School Breakfast Program by expanding participation in schools that already serve breakfast and increasing the number of schools offering breakfast. The user-friendly toolkit can be downloaded here.
Expanding your Breakfast Program
There is more than one way to encourage more students to participate in your Breakfast Program and, as a result, improve their health, behavior and performance.
OPI School Nutrition Programs is available to assist you in exploring and implementing any of the following “Expanded School Breakfast” models:
Breakfast is provided to all children free of charge, regardless of their eligibility status. This model is recommended for schools with over 75% free and reduced-price meal participation. The higher reimbursement for free and reduced meals allows schools to cover the costs for all children to eat free.
This model can be combined with any of the models listed below, as well as with traditional breakfast in the cafeteria.
Food is delivered to each classroom and is often combined with attendance-taking and announcements. Participation can reach as high as 98 percent of enrollment.
Read about how Breakfast in the Classroom (BIC) has transformed students at Cleveland Elementary School in Allentown. [insert link to PDF of article]
WATCH THIS VIDEO for a demonstration of BIC in Montana:
Breakfast in the Classroom Program at Chief Jo Elementary School, Great Falls School District
Montana BIC Success Stories
Breakfast = Achievement: Breakfast in the Classroom in Great Falls
Breakfast = Achievement: Breakfast in the Classroom in Missoula
Breakfast = Achievement: Breakfast in the Classroom in Victor
Breakfast = Achievement: Breakfast in the Classroom at Rocky Boy Elementary
National Food Service Management Institute
Best Practice Guide for In Classroom Breakfast
Q: Does BIC cause a big mess in the classrooms?
A: No. After students eat, they simply put all their trash into a designated trash bag, which is then placed outside the classroom for easy pick-up. Desks can be quickly wiped down with a sanitizing solution or wipes.
Q: Does BIC take away from instructional time?
A: No. In fact, schools with BIC have experienced an increase in instructional time because students settle in at their desks faster in order to eat and are silent while eating, which gives the teacher time to review homework, make announcements or begin the day’s lesson. Students also remain more attentive throughout the period because they are not hungry.
Q: Can we still charge for breakfast if we serve it in the classroom?
A: Yes. The teacher simply marks down which children took the breakfast, and their accounts are charged accordingly.
Breakfast is packaged so students can quickly grab it from the cafeteria or carts elsewhere in the school. They eat it in the cafeteria, the classroom or on the school grounds.
Grab ‘n’ Go Success Story
Paula Buser of Canon City, Colorado, established a Grab ‘n’ Go-style breakfast she dubbed “breakfast at the bell.” When the bell rings 15 minutes prior to the start of the school day, students know it is time to grab their breakfast and begin eating it in the commons area. A food service staff member monitors students and helps them make selections. The number of breakfasts served daily increased from 12 percent to 85 percent.
Food is served mid-morning either in the classroom or cafeteria. Participation can reach 50 percent or more of enrollment.