A Noble Response to a Noble Virus

Noble Network of Charter Schools found out on a Friday that school would be closed the next Monday for the foreseeable future. Monica Bromber-Karis, Director of Dining Services, spent the whole weekend brainstorming, planning, and implementing food distribution strategies for Noble Schools. Sure enough, meal kits were ready to go the very first Monday school was closed.

Noble sent out newsletters and used community connections, social media, and their website to promote the free meal program. Monica even looked for nearby businesses on Google Maps and reached out to see if they would help spread the word. Once word got out, the number of meals served started to increase rapidly, resulting in 235,000 meals being given out to date through the federal government’s school food program!. Monica said, “I immediately heard from our food service staff about how appreciative and thankful people are.” And with the variety of healthy, kid-friendly meals, it is no surprise that Noble has seen such success. By working to increase the variety of foods on the menu, kids now receive fan-favorites like spicy chicken sandwiches and roast beef subs in their meal kits.

What has been key to Noble’s success? Monica has always focused on making sure their food service staff feel safe and supported. Staff were provided with PPE and food pickup stations were set up in a manner that allows for no-contact pickup. Monica said, “Our food service staff from Chartwells and Aramark are members of our Noble family and they are doing work that is helping the most vulnerable members of our communities when it is needed the most. In turn we wanted to do all we can to show them our love, appreciation, and support.”

Monica and her team are continuing to grow Noble’s distribution. Ellen Moiani, Manager of Government and Community Affairs, helped facilitate a partnership with a community organization serving kids that needed some help feeding them. Now, Noble delivers meal kits directly to 3 community organizations, and Monica hopes the number of organizations her team serves will continue to grow.

DeKalb SD 428 Shout Out!

After receiving a $13,800 grant from Rise & Shine Illinois and Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign the DeKalb School District began its Second Chance Breakfast Program. Students can grab a nutritional breakfast after the bell rings and between first and second period. The full story can be read on the Daily Chronicle’s website.


National School Breakfast Week (NSBW) is the first week in March and was established to raise awareness of the availability of the School Breakfast Program to all children. During this week, schools put their breakfast programs on display. The #NSBW19 theme is “Start Your Engines With School Breakfast,” which is designed to show parents, students, and school officials the benefits of fueling up for the day with a healthy school breakfast.

4 Things You Can Do During NSBW to Celebrate

  1. Apply for a Breakfast After the Bell grant before the March 4th deadline. If you have already received a grant from us and are seeking additional funds email Sr. Manager of Children’s Nutrition and Advocacy Outreach, Monique Batteast at mbatteast@gcfd.org.
  2. Email Communications Associate Manager, Rudi Hancock at rhancock@gcfd.org with a few sentences and a couple of pictures of what’s going on in your school during this week/month. We will shout out your school’s activities with posts on Rise & Shine Facebook and Twitter Pages.
  3. Copy and paste the following message on Facebook:


4. Encourage one colleague or friend to sign up for the Rise & Shine Illinois monthly e-newsletter.

Fall Peer-To-Peer Site Visits

Peer-to-Peer site visits provide schools/districts considering implementing or have already implemented a Breakfast After the Bell program with the opportunity to see how the Breakfast After the Bell program works live and in action. The site visits also provide a networking opportunity for schools/districts.



Rise & Shine Illinois will host a Peer-to-Peer site visit at Elmwood Park High School (Second Chance Breakfast Model) located at 8201 W. Fullerton Avenue, Elmwood Park, Friday October 5, 2018 from 8:45 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. For more information and to register click here.

Rise & Shine Illinois will host a Peer-to-Peer Site Visit at Perspectives Charter School (Grab ‘N’ Go Breakfast Model) located on 8131 S. May Street, Chicago, Tuesday, September 25, 2018 from 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. For more information and to register click here.

Breakfast After the Bell Grant

Rise and Shine Illinois in partnership with No Kid Hungry will provide Breakfast After the Bell grants up to $5,000 to support schools with the purchase of approved equipment, materials and initiatives facilitating Breakfast After the Bell delivery models such as (Breakfast In the Classroom, Grab ‘N’ Go, Second Chance).

Application Due Dates:

September 28, 2018

November 16, 2018

March 4, 2019

Click grant for more information and to apply.


Rise & Shine Illinois in partnership with No Kid Hungry provided grants to help organizations expand access to and participation in the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) supported and Illinois State Board of Education administered Summer Meals Program.

The following Sponsors were awarded mini-grants up to $5,000 to help with equipment, transportation, and other non-food program expenses:

Archdiocese of Chicago
Boys & Girls Club of Elgin
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago
Clay County Health Department, Flora
Douglas County Health Department, Tuscola
First Free Will Baptist Church, Johnston City
High Jump, Chicago
Lincoln Elementary School District 27, Lincoln
New Bethel M. B. Church, East Saint Louis
River Bend Foodbank, Davenport

The following Sponsors were awarded capacity building grants up to $10,000 to expand and enhance their program:

Chicago PSD-Network OII, Chicago
Harrisburg Community Unit School District 3, Harrisburg
Northern Illinois Food Bank, Geneva


Congratulations to the 2018 Spring Breakfast Grant Recipients

Rise & Shine Illinois School Breakfast Grants brought to you by No Kid Hungry supports schools implementing or preparing to implement a Breakfast After the Bell delivery model (Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab ‘N’ Go, or Second Chance Breakfast) with the purchase of approved equipment, supplies, or materials to facilitate increased student participation in school breakfast.

Abbott Middle School, Elgin
Beach Park Middle School, Beach Park
Bloomington High School, Bloomington
Bond Elementary School, Assumption
Costello School, Lyons
Danville High School, Danville
Edison Elementary School, Lyons
George Washington Middle School, Lyons
Gregory Intermediate School, Moweaqua
Home Elementary School, Lyons
Irving Elementary School, Bloomington
J W Robinson School, Lyons
Lincoln Elementary School, Lyons
Main Street School, Shelbyville
Petersburg Elementary School, Petersburg
Rantoul Township High School, Rantoul
Shelbyville Kindergarten Center, Shelbyville
Taylorville Junior High School, Taylorville
Thornton Fractional South High School, Lansing
Triad High School, Troy
Triad Middle School, Troy
West Elementary School, Zion

Building Healthy Students In Your School

Join Rise & Shine Illinois and Action for Healthy Kids Tuesday, April 24, 9:00 a.m. at the Regional Office of Education in Loves Park for a health and wellness training that will include a discussion on Breakfast After the Bell and Game On. 

Breakfast After the Bell: Starting in the 2017-2018 school year, Illinois schools with 70% or more of the student population eligible for free or reduced–price meals will begin offering Breakfast After the Bell – which means serving breakfast as part of the school day. Breakfast as part of the school day increases access to the nutrition all students require each morning to learn and succeed in the classroom.

Game On: Creates healthier environments for students, staff, and the communities they serve.

The training offers information on:

  • Increasing your school’s breakfast participation through Breakfast After the Bell delivery models and the benefits of school breakfastHeal;thy
  • Working collaboratively to improve school policy and practices related to students eating better and engaging in more physical activity
  • Financial support and resources for your school

The training is free. Superintendents, principals, teachers, administration staff, food service professionals, and community members are encouraged to attend. Participants will receive 3 Professional Development Credits (PDCs).

Date: Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Location: Regional Office of Education, 300 Heart Blvd., Loves Park, IL 61111

Click here to register. Please refer all questions to Maggie O’Connor at 773-843-778 or email moconnor@gcfd.org.