Photo by Joe Chitwood
The North Platte schools continue to provide more breakfasts to students, and two of them were recently honored by the Nebraska Department of EducationAdams Middle School and Eisenhower Elementary receive awards on Feb. 15 for high-percentage increases in breakfasts served.
At Adams, daily average breakfast participation has increased by 276% this year, compared to last. Eisenhower’s participation increased by 115% during the same period.
To be eligible for recognition, the school had to register, operate or launch a breakfast program by Jan. 11, 2016 and increase participation by at least 25% by the following April, said Shannon Fowler, the assistant director of the Nebraska department of education’s nutrition services.
Just two other schools in Nebraska were also recognized, Fowler said.
Adams Principal Don Helberg said once students get a full belly, they can focus on learning.
Adams serves a “grab and go” breakfast rather than sending students through a line.
“They just grab a bag that has what they need, and either sit down in the cafeteria or in a classroom, which makes it a lot quicker,” Fowler said.
At Eisenhower, Principal Mary Derby said students still form a line to receive their breakfasts, but participation has increased dramatically.
She credits more food choices provided by Sodexo for the rise in numbers.
“It works well for us and gives them great choices,” she said. “Many students’ families are hurried in the morning and don’t have time for breakfast at home.”
“As they come in each morning, I tell them what is for breakfast and they have a choice to go to ‘walkers club’ for exercise. But if they have not eaten, they get the chance to eat a good meal,” Derby said.
Adams Kitchen Manager Dara Reutzel said, “It takes a little longer to prepare using the ‘bag and go’ and go but it is well worth it bringing breakfast to them rather than the old style of making them come to us.”
North Platte School District Food Service Director Larry Young is excited about the new method.
“It is pretty impressive winning the award and the bag method is very convenient,” he said.