Harrisburg, PA – As part of his School Breakfast Initiative, Governor Tom Wolf announced today that $900,000 in mini-grants are available to schools to start or expand alternative breakfast programs to help more students begin the day with a healthy breakfast. The governor secured the additional funding as part of the 2017-18 state budget.
“Students who start the day with a healthy breakfast are ready to focus and learn,” said Governor Wolf. “Expanding access to school breakfast is an effective way to positively impact the lives and performance of individual students, as well as improve the overall climate in schools and classrooms.”
Grants of up to $5,000 are available for schools to implement a School Breakfast Program using an “alternative serving method,” such as grab-and-go, or Breakfast in the Classroom. Schools can also expand an existing program to include an alternative serving method. Breakfast must be made available to all students in a school.
In addition to the $900,000 in state grants, the governor’s School Breakfast Initiative will leverage additional federal funding.
“These grants will help schools initiate a new breakfast program, or bolster an existing one using innovative delivery systems; whether it is an elementary school that implements Breakfast in the Classroom for younger students, or a middle school that opts for grab-and-go, all students benefit from schoolwide breakfast programs,” Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera said.
In 2016, as part of its food security plan, “Setting the Table: A Blueprint for a Hunger-free PA,” the Wolf Administration set a goal of ensuring that 60 percent of students who benefit from free and reduced priced school meals also participate in school breakfast by 2020.
Currently, over 3,000 Pennsylvania schools report that they offer breakfast; however, fewer than half of those schools offer alternative serving methods. Currently, only 50 percent of students who receive free or reduced lunch also receive breakfast.
Additional details and the grant application can be found on PDE’s website. The deadline for schools to apply is April 6.