Press Release

2015 Breakfast Grant Deadlines Announced

Rise & Shine Illinois 2015 grants are available for up to $5,000 each.  

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis with the following deadlines: 

February 15 — April 15 — June 15 — August 15 — October 15

To be connected with a School Breakfast Coordinator and begin the application process, please click here or email  See grant details below:


Grants will support schools with the purchase of approved equipment, materials and initiatives facilitating alternative breakfast delivery models (such as Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab N Go, or Second Chance Breakfast) in an effort to increase child participation in universal School Breakfast.


Applying schools must either be implementing or be prepared to implement an alternative breakfast delivery model. Successful models include collaboration of everyone in the school district; including the School Principal, Teachers, the Food Service Nutrition Director, and the Superintendent. All applications must have authorized approval by the School Principal and Food Service Nutrition Director. (more…)

Taylorville: A shining example of breakfast success

WCIA News 3 Springfield covers the success of Breakfast in the Classroom at Memorial Elementary in Taylorville, Il.  With the help of a Rise & Shine Illinois grant, Memorial was able to implement the model in Fall of 2014.

Teachers were initially leery of the program, fearful of messes in the classroom and rowdiness, but quite the opposite has taken place.  In addition to nearly doubling breakfast participation in this high-need school, Breakfast in the Classroom has helped teachers and students alike – filling students bellies and calming them down before lessons start while allowing teachers to get organized and start the day off quicker with a classroom full of attentive, satisfied students.

Local ad agency announces Rise & Shine campaign

Downtown Partners Chicago launches ad campaign to spotlight student hunger

By Lewis Lazare, Chicago Business Journal

NOVEMBER 20, 2014 — The holidays are one of the most important times of the year for the Greater Chicago Food Depository, which has as its goal ensuring that local residents do not have to experience the hardships of going hungry.

The Food Depository recently recruited Downtown Partners Chicago to create an ad campaign and a website that focus attention on one of the Depository’s newest programs to prevent hunger — Rise and Shine Illinois.

Launched earlier this fall, Rise and Shire aims to make free breakfasts widely available in schools for young children who may not be living in a household where they can get that important first meal of the day.

In announcing the new school breakfast program in September, Greater Chicago Food Depository CEO Kate Maehr said: “We believe school breakfast is a critical tool in addressing hunger. Making breakfast available gives children the nutrients and energy they need to thrive in an academic setting.” (more…)

‘Rise and Shine Illinois’ School Breakfast Program Launches

Hunger makes school harder: School breakfast campaign launches, urges teachers, parents
to request breakfast for their schools
More than 449,000 low-income Illinois children are at risk of starting their school day hungry;
Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab N Go enable schools to serve meals efficiently

CHICAGO, September 24, 2014 – Today marks the launch of a public affairs campaign that aims to make breakfast widely available in Illinois schools. In a series of advertisements, Rise and Shine Illinois urges teachers, parents and administrators to “request school breakfast.” More than 449,000 children who receive free and reduced-price lunch in Illinois do not receive school breakfast, ranking Illinois 36th in the nation according to the Food Research and Action Center. Studies show that children’s health and academics improve when they have breakfast at school.

“We believe school breakfast is a critical tool in addressing hunger,” said Kate Maehr, Co-Chair of the Illinois Commission to End Hunger and Executive Director and CEO of the Greater Chicago Food Depository. “Making breakfast available gives children the nutrients and energy they need to thrive in an academic setting.”

More than 1 in 5 children in Illinois is food insecure, meaning they’re unsure of when or where they will receive their next meal. More than 70 percent of teachers say they teach students who regularly come to school hungry because there isn’t enough food at home. While most schools serve breakfast, alternative models like Breakfast in the Classroom and Grab N Go make meals accessible to more children at the start of the day. Teachers and principals report seeing a noticeable increase in attendance and fewer discipline problems since incorporating breakfast programs. The Rise and Shine Illinois campaign encourages supporters to take action by visiting and filling out a form to start the breakfast outreach process at their school.

“Alternative breakfast models like `Breakfast in the Classroom’ and `Grab N Go’ are proven strategies that safely and efficiently make food accessible to schoolchildren,” said State Superintendent of Education, Christopher A. Koch.  “We encourage schools across the state to consider implementing these models as well as the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), which streamlines the meal application process for schools in low-income areas.”

Resources are available to schools and districts seeking to serve more children breakfast. School meals are reimbursed by the federal government through the National School Breakfast Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign provides schools in Illinois with technical assistance and grants for equipment and technology needs. An annual school breakfast challenge recognizes Illinois schools that demonstrate the highest increases in daily breakfast participation. The goal of the campaign is to provide breakfast for 38,000 more students by the end of the 2015-2016 school year.

“No child should start the school day hungry,” said Tim English, Regional Administrator, USDA Food and Nutrition Service, Midwest Region. “We applaud the efforts of advocates across Illinois who are ensuring that children have the nutrition they need to excel in school.”

Rise and Shine Illinois is a partnership of No Kid Hungry Illinois, the Greater Chicago Food Depository, the Illinois State Board of Education, Central Illinois Foodbank, EverThrive Illinois, the Illinois Coalition for Community Services, Illinois Hunger Coalition, Midwest Dairy Council and St. Louis Area Foodbank. Working with Downtown Partners, a Chicago-based advertising agency, the campaign was developed in response to a recommendation of the Illinois Commission to End Hunger, created by legislation in 2010 and appointed by the Governor. Downtown Partners developed the ad campaign’s overall strategy, naming/branding, website and creative tactics to promote the initiative including television commercials, billboards, digital/social efforts as well as collateral pieces.

For more information, visit

Contact: Bob Dolgan, 773-843-7293, mobile: 773-447-1980,