Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Are You a School Breakfast Silent Hero? got breakfast?® Foundation Announces Silent Hero Grants

/PRNewswire/ -- Today the got breakfast?® Foundation announced its third round of Silent Hero Grants to award up to $50,000 in grants to public schools, non-profit private schools and non-profit organizations participating in the national School Breakfast Program. The grant program recognizes, encourages and rewards those silent heroes who help children start their day off right by serving breakfast. The grant monies can be used for such needs as serving equipment, staffing, food, and nutrition education materials.

The Silent Hero Grant Program was created to encourage schools and non-profit organizations to expand the reach of underutilized child nutrition programs, most notably the School Breakfast Program. According to the 2008-2009 Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) School Breakfast Scorecard, on an average day, 8.8 million low-income children participated in the national School Breakfast Program and 18.9 million low-income children participated in the National School Lunch Program. Fewer than 47 percent of children who participate in the school lunch program also receive school breakfast.

Where do those 10 million low-income children eat breakfast? "Clearly, millions of children go to school hungry each day, even though the resources are there to feed them," says Sonya Kaster, R.D., L.D.N., S.N.S., Grant Administrator for the Silent Hero Program. "For some children, the stigma of eating breakfast at school outweighs their hunger. By implementing alternate school breakfast service, such as breakfast in the classroom, it removes the perception that only poor children eat breakfast in the cafeteria. The school breakfast program can help fill the gap many Americans are experiencing today."

In yesterday's USA TODAY, the feature story "Breakfast in class: Fight against hunger starts in school," noted that feeding breakfast to students who can afford to pay helps remove the stigma associated with the cafeteria breakfasts for low-income students and that classroom breakfasts can alleviate other challenges, such as time constraints. The article also included remarks from got breakfast? Foundation founder Gary Davis who hopes the grant program will help increase breakfast participation. He said, "It's a message that really has to be heard: that there is just a simple way that we can improve our society."

Whether the reasons for not eating breakfast are financial issues or lifestyle issues - such as simply not having the time in the morning - research has shown that hungry children don't learn. Children who eat breakfast do better in school: they have higher test scores, less rates of absenteeism, less visit to the school nurse, less behavior problems, and overall better health.

Are You a Silent Hero?

Or do you know one? The got breakfast? Foundation wants parents, school board members, school administrators, and school food service directors to advocate for breakfast programs at their schools. "One of our goals is to help educate communities across the country on the lifelong benefits of eating nutritious meals," says Kaster. "We hope the Silent Hero Grant Program will act as a catalyst for schools to give the breakfast program a try."

Any public, non-profit private school or non-profit organization that participates in the National School Breakfast Program and provides alternate breakfast service options can apply for a grant. The Alternate Service Breakfast Grant helps those who serve breakfast in the classroom, grab-n-go, or any other alternate site meal service outside the standard cafeteria lunch line. Priority selection will be given to programs creating a breakfast program where one did not exist before.

Grants will be awarded up to $5,000. The deadline for submitting the application is November 15, 2010. Applicants will be notified of their award status after January 15, 2011, and winners will be announced by February 1, 2011.

For information about the got breakfast? Silent Hero Grant Program or to obtain a Request for Application (RFA), contact or visit the website.

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