Research shows that a healthy breakfast helps children do better in school, decreases their risk of diseases like diabetes, , and helps them maintain a healthy weight. Despite this, many children in New York City are not eating breakfast. Two years ago, New York City had the second lowest participation rate in the School Breakfast Program among large school districts, despite offering free breakfast before the bell to all students.
A new program in New York City that moves breakfast into the classroom has helped more kids get access to a healthy meal to start the day. The 2016-2017 school year is the second in a three-year rollout of the Breakfast in the Classroom initiative for NYC elementary schools. By the end of next school year, the program will serve 339,000 students and be available in all elementary schools.
Researchers at NYU looked at the impact of the switch from New York City’s breakfast before the bell model to the new breakfast in the classroom program. They found that offering breakfast in the classroom increased participation by up to 30%, and did not cause undesired weight gain, as some had feared.
At God’s Love We Deliver, our clients may face additional barriers to getting to school early to take advantage of breakfast before the bell, which will continue to be the norm in NYC middle and high schools. To help serve these clients, God’s Love offers a weekly breakfast kit to families with children under 13. It includes milk, hot and cold cereal, fruit, and yogurt.
For more about our breakfast program for children, contact us at 212-294-8100, our visit our Programs & Services page.
More information on the New York City School Breakfast Program can be found here.