Last month, Loudoun County Public Schools launched their first Second Chance Breakfast program at Smart’s Mill Middle School. The Breakfast After the Bell program helps to increase access to a nutritious breakfast by maximizing convenience and overcoming barriers to participation. These meals are distributed via breakfast carts where students are dismissed from their classrooms to purchase breakfast. Students simply enter their PIN numbers into the kiosk and grab their breakfast to enjoy it in the classroom. Since the launch of this program five weeks ago, Smart’s Mill has increased their breakfast participation by 204.9% with an average of 303 students eating breakfast daily. Of that total, an average of 231 students are participating through the Breakfast After the Bell program daily.
Breakfast after the bell extends the reach of the School Breakfast Program and enables more students to have the nutrients necessary to perform their best in the classroom. This helps to ensure that all students are able to start their academic day with a nutritionally balanced meal. Students can still enjoy the traditional school breakfast that begins before the start of the school day. This is a good first step to addressing hunger and supporting student achievement, however, school nutrition understands that not all students are ready to fuel up for the day before the first bell rings and students do not always give themselves time to each before rushing to class in the morning. This is why second chance breakfast is vital for the nutrition of students. By providing mid-morning nourishment, students are refueled until lunch.
The Breakfast After the Bell program is extending to Harper Park MS on March 13th with additional schools in the district looking to model this program for the upcoming school year. For more information on the Breakfast After the Bell program or School Nutrition Services, please visit www.LCPSHealthyCafe.org .