Now in its second year, the program provides school breakfasts at no charge to students and moves the serving of the meals from the cafeteria to the classroom to improve participation in the federally funded School Breakfast program. According to the foundation, data consistently show that program is consistently underutilized due to school bus schedules, late arrivals, pressure on students to go directly to their classroom, and the reluctance on the part of families to be labeled "low income." Indeed, although most U.S. schools and institutions participate in the program, less than half the low-income children eligible for a free or reduced-price breakfast are eating one.
In addition to the five districts that implemented Breakfast in the Classroom during the program's inaugural year in 2010-11, new districts participating in the program include Charleston County School District in South Carolina; Denver Public Schools in Colorado; Des Moines Public Schools in Iowa; Elgin School District U-46 in Illinois; Guilford County Schools in Greensboro,North Carolina; Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, Kentucky; Kansas City Public Schools in Kansas; Knox County Schools in Tennessee; and Pinellas County Schools in Largo, Florida. A tenth district will be announced soon.
"The partners for Breakfast in the Classroom and the participating school districts understand the important role food plays in helping our children grow into healthy and well-educated young adults," said Julie Gehrki, senior director of the Walmart Foundation. "By working community-by-community to address the issue of child hunger at the local level, we are making changes that will benefit the lives of thousands of our nation's children."