151 Schools Get Governor Wolf’s School Breakfast Initiative Grants to Improve Learning
May 15, 2019
Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf’s School Breakfast Initiative is providing 151 schools with grants up to $5,000 to help more children start their day with a healthy meal. The $592,000 investment marks the second year of grants that make school breakfast available to all students and expand food options for children.
“A healthy breakfast helps students begin the school day ready to learn and succeed,” said Governor Wolf. “By investing in school breakfasts, we are investing in the lives of children. When kids start their day with good nutrition, they’re ready to learn and grow up healthier and stronger.”
“Our students are our greatest resource as Pennsylvanians,” said First Lady Frances Wolf. “We must give them the tools they need to prepare them to be our future leaders – which includes a healthy breakfast every morning. Quite simply, children just cannot perform at their best in school if they are hungry. Since the school breakfast initiative began, many schools across the commonwealth have been able to expand access to breakfast to help more children have the healthy boost they need to start their day.”
Governor Wolf launched the School Breakfast Initiative two years ago. Schools use grants up to $5,000 to implement a breakfast program using an “alternative serving method,” like 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.
“Students are more focused and in a better position to learn when they start their days with a healthy, nutritious meal,” said Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera. “However, we know that only 50 percent of the students who receive a free or reduced lunch also receive breakfast. The mini-grants enable schools to address food security issues and help more students by either starting a new breakfast program or by improving an existing one.”
Since taking office, the Wolf Administration has been on the forefront of the issue of food security and nutrition. During his tenure, Governor Wolf has established the Food Security Partnership in 2015, comprised of the secretaries of the departments of Aging, Agriculture, Community and Economic Development, Education, Health, and Human Services; unveiled the commonwealth’s food security plan – Setting the Table: A Blueprint for a Hunger-free PA in 2016; and introduced the School Breakfast Initiative in 2017.
More than 3,000 Pennsylvania schools report that they offer breakfast. However, fewer than half of those schools offer alternative serving methods.