Article

Fueling Our Future Leaders With School Breakfast

May 28, 2019

Did you know 12.5 million low-income students participated in the School Breakfast Program during the 2017-2018 school year? When students have access to a healthy breakfast, it helps them fuel not only their bodies but their minds. They can focus on their classes instead of their empty stomachs.

Being nourished daily helps youth reach their full academic potential to grow into tomorrow’s leaders. School breakfast makes a difference for students who don’t otherwise have access to a nutritious meal.

Dairy farmers founded National Dairy Council (NDC) over a century ago so they could advance childhood nutrition and health. Farmers not only provide nutrient-rich foods but help connect students to where their food originated. Through experiences like school visits or farm tours, farmers answer questions and teach about on-farm practices that impact food choices. Through NDC, farmers also contribute to school breakfast grant programs.

I’ve seen the farmers’ dedication in action. Recently, I visited a Florida school where students were excited about their new school breakfast cart and the new morning-meal options made possible by a grant. It was uplifting to see them eager to eat a healthy breakfast that included nutrient-rich milk. This has promise to help their school in the long-term; one in four schools that implemented a grab-and-go breakfast cart saw at least a 15 percent increase in school breakfast participation.

Fuel Up to Play 60, an in-school nutrition and physical activity program created by National Dairy Council (NDC) and the National Football League (NFL), provides information to enhance school breakfast programs. Check out the FUTP 60 “Breakfast – Grab and Go” play, which offers information on how to boost school breakfast participation by offering a quick and easy breakfast students can grab on their way into school or between classes. Local dairy councils provide FUTP 60 grants and assistance to schools interested in breakfast carts or other school meal equipment. 

It is comforting knowing students are being nourished, which helps support their growth, development and learning. Find out more about how to help nourish and empower your community’s students through school breakfast here.