STRIVE Lake and Lake International School share the same building, and both schools just started Breakfast in the Classroom this year. Students were just filing into their seats, and breakfast had been delivered in coolers and bins to every classroom earlier in the morning. At my visit, students chose an apple, orange juice or milk, and either a homemade whole wheat cinnamon roll or cinnamon crisp breakfast bar (YUM!). As students grabbed breakfast, they also managed to quietly put away their coats and backpacks, turn in their homework, and pull out their books at their desks.
For the kitchen manager, Yvonne, this is only her second year at Lake—and her first time implementing Breakfast in the Classroom. She admits being skeptical at first, but says with a little time and an excellent food service team, things run without a hitch. It took them “no time at all” to get organized at the beginning, adjusting the number of breakfasts for each classroom and figuring out what items students eat the most. For example, students love that morning’s menu, as well as pancakes, homemade egg and cheese biscuits or burritos, but dislike quesadillas and are on the fence about yogurt.
Lake’s kitchen staff, also skeptical at first, became excited about some extra hours necessary at the beginning to start figuring the system out. Now, they have the process down pat, are back to their regular hours, and actually have more time to spend preparing for lunch. Facilities managers have been extremely supportive as well.
Yvonne stated that she’s less stressed overall with this program compared to cafeteria breakfast. She could use a little more consistency from teachers filling out the student rosters appropriately, especially in communicating the process with substitute teachers. And, she has made herself available to answer any teachers’ concerns or questions at any time.
Now that things are organized, she has the opportunity to think of ways to make it run even more smoothly for her team and the entire school, so every student who wants a healthy breakfast at school can have it. The program is off to a great start!
What do you think about Breakfast in the Classroom?
Abby Isaacson, MPH, serves as one of the Breakfast Expansion Ambassadors for Hunger Free Colorado. Learn more about the organization and school breakfast programs in Colorado by visit www.hungerfreecolorado.org.