Nebraska School Breakfast Challenge
From Sally Ganem, First Lady of Nebraska and Dr. Roger Breed, Nebraska Commissioner of Education
It is our great pleasure to announce the Nebraska School Breakfast Challenge. Many of you have devoted your career to helping Nebraska children grow and prosper. You also see each day the struggles of students who don’t start the day with a nutritious breakfast. The good news is that we can solve this problem, and we can do it in a way that does not add financial burden or take away from classroom instruction time.
That is why we are so excited about the Nebraska School Breakfast Challenge. Every Nebraska school district will be automatically enrolled in this competition that challenges school districts to increase participation in the School Breakfast Program by at least 35 percent. We are confident that most districts can far exceed this goal. The topperforming districts, those with the greatest increases in participation, will receive cash prizes for their outstanding efforts.
Breakfast is a vital start to the day. Studies have shown that students who eat a healthy breakfast have increased test scores, are better able to focus throughout the day, are less likely to be absent, and make fewer visits to the school nurse. We also hear from teachers that behavior problems decrease and mornings are much calmer when breakfast has become a communal activity.
Many children do not or cannot eat breakfast at home. Many parents have been hit hard by the economic downturn with record job losses and increases in food costs, making it challenging to put nutritious meals on the table. Even for families with enough resources, breakfast at school can be a welcome solution to busy parents who don’t have enough time to make and serve breakfast at home. Fortunately, the School Breakfast program provides federal and state funding for schools to provide nutritious meals to their students.
Our hope is that all children in Nebraska will have access to a nutritious breakfast that will help them learn and succeed in school.
NSBC Guide (pdf)
Consultant Team (pdf)