Pushing for Breakfast in the Classroom Post-COVID

Mary Poole, Food Service Director at Benton School District, has been advocating for serving breakfast in the classroom for a while, but like many people in her position, she faced pushback from teachers.

She heard many concerns from the teaching staff: the classroom would get messy; there wouldn’t be time to eat during the school day; teachers wouldn’t get a break.

But when COVID-19 hit, the district was forced to give meals in the classroom a shot to abide by social distancing regulations. And guess what? Teachers actually liked it!

According to Mary, kids eat better. They have more time to eat and are going to the nurse less. Staff has figured out a way to minimize mess and get trash out of the classrooms and out of the building quickly. Classroom aides help supervise during lunch so teachers still get a break. Sure, it’s a little more work, but Benton School District thinks it’s worth it.

As the pandemic urges a new wave of creativity for balancing in-school learning with safe and healthy practices, now may be the best time to push for breakfast in the classroom. Teachers may have realized it is just not as bad as they thought it would be, and the benefits far outweigh the costs.

If you are considering serving meals in the classroom, our team is available to help you! Please reach out at riseandshineillinois@gcfd.org.