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Box Elder joins Breakfast After the Bell program

Partnership with No Kid Hungry will support eight Montana schools in implementing breakfast programs


December 24, 2019

Staff and wire report

Children in Box Elder schools now have a better opportunity to have a breakfast thanks to more than $28,000 in grant funding from private entities to implement the Breakfast After the Bell program.

The program shifts the time breakfast is served so students can eat a meal during or between morning lessons rather than in the cafeteria before classes begin, a release from the Montana governor’s office said. After incorporating breakfast into the morning schedule, schools see student participation in the breakfast program increase by double or more.

“Starting the school day with a nutritional breakfast allows students to focus on learning without being distracted by hunger,” Gov. Steve Bullock said in the release. “I’m thrilled to see additional schools take advantage of Breakfast After the Bell and support students in becoming healthier, performing better in their classroom and having fewer disciplinary problems.”

“Offering breakfast in the classroom helps kids in our state to thrive, while removing hurdles for families struggling to provide a healthy meal each morning,” First Lady Lisa Bullock said in the release. “As more and more schools recognize the power of starting each day with a healthy meal, we’re closer to our goal of ending childhood hunger in Montana.”

In this grant cycle, eight schools received grant funding to implement Breakfast After the Bell.

  The other seven schools that received breakfast grants in this fall 2019 cycle — along with Box Elder, which received $5,000 — are:

Whittier School, Butte, $5,892

Evergreen Junior High School, Kalispell, $3,700

Florence-Carlton School, Florence, $4,894

Forsyth Elementary School, Forsyth, $2,470

Greenfield K-8, Fairfield, $625

Joliet High School, Joliet, $3,200

Canyon Creek School, Billings, $2,000

Since 2014, Steve and Lisa Bullock have partnered with Montana No Kid Hungry to support more than 110 schools in implementing Breakfast After the Bell.

Educators have found the program to be successful in addressing food insecurity and preventing trauma associated with chronic hunger, the release said, as well as promoting a culture of inclusivity that helps students feel connected and sets a positive tone for the school day.

More than 300 schools across Montana are serving breakfast during class hours this school year.

Grants are offered by Montana No Kid Hungry, which is housed under the Department of Public Health and Human Services. Funding for breakfast grants is made possible through support from private donors including Town Pump Charitable Foundation; Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation; BNSF Railway; Round It Up Montana, a partnership between the Montana Restaurant and Retail Associations, ProStart, and No Kid Hungry; Albertsons Companies Foundation; the Steele-Reese Foundation; Wells Fargo Bank, and the Montana Association of Realtors.

Operation of the school breakfast program is overseen by the Montana Office of Public Instruction.

Schools can apply for funding online through the Montana No Kid Hungry grant portal, with opportunities available during the spring and fall. Anyone who is interested in starting a new breakfast program or transitioning their existing program to an alternative service model, or who has questions about upcoming grant opportunities, can contact Linda Cleatus at [email protected] or by phone at 406-444-3925.  


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