Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to many common questions below. You can also learn more about Breakfast After the Bell at https://washingtonbreakfast.org/.
1. What is the National School Breakfast Program and Breakfast After the Bell?
The National School Breakfast Program is a federal school nutrition program, just like school lunch. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers the School Breakfast Program at the federal level. There are many ways to make breakfast part of the school day with Breakfast After the Bell. Three Breakfast After the Bell models that demonstrate the most success are Breakfast In the Classroom, Grab and Go, and Second Chance Breakfast. The key to each of these models is that breakfast is served during the school day, after the instructional bell, in a place where students are together. Now part of Washington State law (RCW 28A.235) Breakfast After the Bell (BAB) is defined as breakfast that is offered to students after the beginning of the school day. Schools must make BAB accessible to all students and allow students a reasonable amount of time to eat their meal. Additionally, students must be freely encouraged to participate in the BAB meal service without fear of being late to class or singled out.
2. How much does a student have to pay for a BAB breakfast?
Othello School District was approved as a Community Eligible Provision (CEP) district, which means that ALL Othello students may eat one FREE breakfast each day!
3. Is every student able to receive a BAB breakfast?
Yes. All students are encouraged to participate in Breakfast After the Bell.
4. How much is the Breakfast After the Bell program going to cost Othello School District?
Breakfast After the Bell is operated in the same manner as the school lunch program, and all meals are reimbursable for the district. The BAB program does not cost the district any additional money.
5. Why is BAB important?
- No child should start the school day hungry! Studies show that children who skip breakfast are at an academic disadvantage: They have slower memory recall, make more errors and are more likely to repeat a grade.
- Millions of kids in America don’t get enough food at home. 1 out of 6 kids struggle with hunger. There are hungry kids in every kind of community, from big cities to rural towns to wealthy suburbs.
- Hungry children cannot learn. Childhood hunger negatively affects health, academic achievement and future economic prosperity. Students who eat school breakfast have been shown to miss less school, get better grades and are more likely to graduate high school. (Check out the research page!)
- Breakfast After the Bell reaches more students than traditional cafeteria breakfast. Fewer than half of the kids who get a free or reduced-price school lunch, on average, get a free or reduced-price breakfast.
- Multiple barriers prevent students from getting traditional cafeteria breakfast (before the bell). Barriers include buses arriving late at school; stigma that school breakfast is for “poor” kids; and students preferring to socialize instead of eat. Additionally, not all children are able to eat at home. Whether they come from a family with a tight budget, are too busy, or simply have a poor appetite in the morning, not all children get the energy and nutrients they need to get a healthy start to the morning.
5. What will this look like at each school?
Breakfast in the Classroom
- School nutrition staff packs breakfasts into coolers or insulated bags to be transported to each classroom by school nutrition staff, designated students, or volunteers.
- Students pick up breakfast meals as they arrive at school and eat at their desks after the bell during the first 10–15 minutes of class during morning announcements or while the teacher takes attendance or reviews lessons.
- Teachers, school nutrition staff, volunteers, or students distribute meals and students are counted via the point of sale (POS) system or on manual lists to record which, or how many, students eat breakfast.
- Students clear trash and wipe down desks. Breakfast trash are placed in the hallway to be collected by custodial staff.
Second Chance Breakfast
- School nutrition staff packs breakfast meals in bags to be picked up from the cafeteria or kiosks in the hallway on the way to class.
- Students take a bagged “Grab & Go” breakfast to be eaten in between 1st and 2nd period on their way to class or during 2nd period.
- School nutrition staff distributes meals and students are counted via the point of sale (POS) system.
- Breakfast trash are placed in the hallway to be collected by custodial staff.
6. Won’t this get in the way of instructional time?
No. Breakfast After the Bell does not take away from instructional time. During the time that breakfast is served in the classroom, many teachers are typically taking attendance, collecting homework, or making announcements.
7. What about the cleanup?
Breakfast cleanup is quick and easy. School administrators, custodial staff and teachers work together to create a cleanup plan that is best for each classroom and school. Students are provided supplies to clean both their desks and hands after eating, which facilitates student involvement and ownership of the program. Othello will:
- Use separate trashcans and heavier trash bags specifically for breakfast waste
- Use buckets or classroom sinks to collect any liquid waste
- Dispose of breakfast waste, immediately after eating, in a central location such as a rolling garbage can placed in the corridor. Central trash locations ease the burden on custodial staff.
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