In the fairly large city of Kankakee, fifty miles south of downtown Chicago, having multiple feeding sites isn’t always enough to make sure kids have access to the food they need during the pandemic. Some sites are not easy to get to by walking or riding a bike, but those kids still need meals, whether their school is fully remote or hybrid. Kankakee School District saw a problem, and found the resources from No Kid Hungry, Headstart, and district funds to fix it.
Beardstown Community School District has faced some unique challenges because of COVID-19. One might think that a rural district in Central Illinois with 1,600 kids is fairly routine. However, the families in this district use over 22 languages! Superintendent Ron Gilbert says that with such a diverse community, communication is tricky, and always has been. But that challenge hasn’t stopped the district from providing food to its students during the pandemic.
Nubia Sanchez, Compliance Officer at Acero Charter Schools remembers waiting a couple of weeks after implementing Breakfast After the Bell in SY17-18 to hear complaints or issues with Grab ‘N’ Go to the Classroom but upon hearing hardly none thought, “this is too good to be true.”
Golder College Prep in the West Town neighborhood of Chicago went from serving 13% of their students breakfast daily with the traditional before school cafeteria model to serving nearly 67% of their students daily after implementing Breakfast in the Classroom.
“We push our students to eat healthy in a fun way so it doesn’t feel like they are pressured,” said Principal Anderson.
Perspectives Charter Schools, increased breakfast participation from 55% to 85% after implementing a Grab ‘N’ Go to the Classroom with the help of teachers, principles and counselors nudging students to grab breakfast in the mornings.
While keeping its traditional cafeteria breakfast program, Elmwood Park implemented a Second Chance Breakfast program in the middle and high school in the 2017-18 school year.
“Our school is not required under the law to offer Breakfast After the Bell, we just do it,” said Miguel Medel, Foodservice Manager at Abbott Middle School in Elgin School District U-46.
“We have been doing Breakfast After the Bell since before it was hip,” chuckled Kasia Sanchez, Director of the President’s Office at Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy.
“Breakfast In the Classroom (BIC) has had a positive impact on attendance. More students eat breakfast than ever before and are excited about going into their classrooms in the morning. I love it,” said Wiley’s Principal, Candace Gwin.
Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti, Illinois Commission to End Hunger, and the Rise & Shine Team sat down with Berwyn North School District 98 Officials for a Q&A on Lincoln Middle School’s Grab ‘N’ Go program.
When talking to school stakeholders about implementing Breakfast After the Bell, “we led with our district mantra: it is what’s best for our students and with that everyone got on-board,” said Dan Oberg, Director of Business Services for Wheeling Community Consolidated School District 21.
At Lincoln Middle School about 130 students ate breakfast daily when it was served in the cafeteria before school started. Now that the school has a Grab ‘N’ Go program, close to 500 students eat breakfast daily.
“Simplicity is key here,” said Matthew Brue, Superintendent of Community Unit School District (CUSD) #202 when talking about the Grab ‘N’ Go breakfast program at Porta Junior/Senior High School in Petersburg Illinois.
Bloomington High School, SD 87 threw a curve ball creating their own Breakfast After the Bell delivery model that is just the right fit for their school.
Breakfast Champions Jennifer Hosty, Business Manager, and Toni LeGare, Food Service Director of Berwyn South SD 100 opened up the doors to two of their schools for nearby school districts preparing to implement a Breakfast After the Bell program to see one up close, live, and in action.
The Business Manager Jennifer Hosty & Food Service Coordinator Toni LeGare sat down with Rise & Shine Illinois to talk about their Breakfast After the Bell Program and how the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) has helped to increase breakfast participation in the district.
This is the story of how the Community Eligibility Provision helped Beach Park School District 3 provide breakfast to ALL students in the district.
“We have done more than take care of basic needs; we have created a culture in the classroom …” – Principal Mike Smith of Nancy Hill Elementary School in West Aurora School District 129
How does a school break through the barriers tied to traditional breakfast in the cafeteria and provide easy access to a nutritious school breakfast? South Shores Elementary did just that and broke with traditional breakfast in the cafeteria.
With the help of a Rise & Shine Illinois and No Kid Hungry grant, Beardstown was able to implement a Grab N Go service model for the 2014-2015 school year.
Jane Addams Elementary in Melrose Park sees 30% increase in breakfast participation since implementing Breakfast in the Classroom, helping to fill a major meal gap in an area of high need.
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.