Northland schools selected in School Breakfast Initiative

By KBJR News 1

April 23, 2014 Updated Apr 23, 2014 at 7:53 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Research studies prove that children who start their day with a nutritious breakfast have a better school attendance record, higher test scores and improved graduation rates.

Hunger–Free Minnesota has selected 120 schools to participate in the 2014–15 School Breakfast Challenge. The goal is to get more schools to provide free and reduced breakfasts for children.

Piedmont Elementary has started a pilot program for students in Kindergarten through Second grade to encourage more children to eat breakfast.

"It's to have breakfast and get energy and get ready for the school day but its also to build community," said Principal of Piedmont Elementary School, Becky Gerdes.

"In the morning they have a chance to talk to their class mates, teachers have a chance to interact with the students during breakfast time and build relationships."

Each school selected will receive a $2,500 grant along with a $0.25 per meal incentive for breakfasts served to free–and–reduced priced eligible children up to 25,000 meals. 320,000 students in Minnesota are eligible for free–and–reduced priced meals, according to Hunger–Free Minnesota.

Selected Northland schools
–Vaughan–Steffensrud Elementary in Chisholm
–Denfeld Senior
–Lowell Elementary
–Piedmont Elementary
–Lincoln Elementary
–Mesabi East Elementary
–Mountain Iron – Buhl Secondary
–Cherry Elementary
–North Woods Elementary
–South Ridge Elementary

"We determined that a Grab n' Go or as we call it, BAG IT ( Bringing A Great Start Into The Classroom) model, would allow more of our students to participate in school breakfast," Hunger–Free Minnesota spokespeople say.

There are more grant opportunities for Minnesota schools through Hunger–Free Minnesota and the Children's Defense Fund–Minnesota which you can find by clicking here.

Ramona Marozas