Written by MARK JAEGER
Wednesday, 20 February 2013 18:43
Students finding that school can provide a nourishing start to the day
Members of the Northern Ozaukee School Board like what they see in the district’s breakfast program, agreeing the morning meal offering should continue
for the remainder of the school year.
School administrators advocated offering breakfast after finding that many students come to school hungry, and it was affecting their classroom performance.
The pilot program was started with the 2012-13 school year, and has served an average of 89 meals.
It is run by Taher, the meal-service provider that also prepares district lunches.
Connie Smith, Taher’s food service coordinator, said the breakfast program has grown in popularity.
According to the company, as many as 1,743 breakfasts a month have been served — about a quarter of the meals Taher serves at the district.
The breakfast program is especially popular at Ozaukee Elementary School, where an average of 50 students participate each day.
Although popular at the lower grade levels, officials said middle and high-school students were slower to embrace the option.
Part of the problem is that breakfast at those levels was originally being served between 7:10 and 7:30 a.m., before school started.
When the breakfast was made available to older students during the 10 minutes between first and second period, students were much more receptive. Between 40 and 50 students are now stopping for a mid-morning snack.
Meal prices — and state funding cover the cost of the breakfast program.
“It is not costing the district. It is paying for itself,” said Supt. Blake Peuse.
Board member Steve Burmesch cast the only vote against continuing the breakfast program.