Greene County's William Monroe Middle School Provides Free Breakfast to All Students

On Thursday, March 16, every student at Greene County’s William Monroe Middle School received school breakfast. The event coincided with the first day of Standards of Learning (SOL) standardized testing, ensuring that hunger did not get in the way of any child’s ability to focus and achieve.

School Nutrition Director Carol Haas had her own goals for the day, too. She used the all-breakfast morning, made possible through a No Kid Hungry Virginia grant, as an opportunity to showcase William Monroe Middle’s robust breakfast program. The school serves both traditional and Grab & Go breakfast models, using kiosks in strategic locations to reach the most students. By exposing the entire school to the full range of breakfast meal options, she hoped to garner fresh interest in grabbing a morning meal on an average school day.

Students had the option of choosing from over 15 different breakfast combinations, demonstrating the school’s full morning menu. Teachers recorded their classroom’s choices and submitted the list to the cafeteria, where nutrition staff arrived early to prepare and assemble the breakfast bags. Administrators, including Principal Katie Brunelle, joined student volunteers from the high school to assist with meal transportation and delivery.

While students enjoyed the breakfasts in the comfort of their classroom, they listened to announcements about the importance of breakfast and watched breakfast videos on the school news network. Hand-made, pro-breakfast signs hanging in the hallway helped set a celebratory tone for the morning.

Of all the breakfast options, the bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich was the most popular hot item, while the whole-wheat chocolate muffins were the favorite cold item.

Greene County knows that every child deserves breakfast, not just on testing day –their alternative breakfast models are proof of that. This breakfast “taste test” event is an innovative idea that exposed more students to the cafeteria’s wide variety of morning meal options.  It is a great idea for schools hoping to increase breakfast participation and attract more students to alternative breakfast models.

You can watch local news coverage of the Greene County breakfast event here. Green County shared the following description of the breakfast event on their school website:

Everyone is familiar with the saying “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Many students however, are not starting their day out with breakfast. This could be due to a variety of reasons: No time, not hungry when they first wake up, and/or financial reasons. No matter what the reason, we have the answer for you with Breakfast served at school.

The cost for breakfast is $1.40. However if you receive free or reduced priced meals at lunch, you can receive those same rates at breakfast.

In addition to the traditional breakfast served in the cafeteria, William Monroe Middle School offers a “Grab and Go” breakfast at a kiosk located in “Locker room hallway” at the back of the school above the gym. William Monroe High school also offers a “Grab and Go” breakfast at a kiosk located at “Pillar Hallway.” Students are able to come in to school and grab a breakfast and go directly to class. We serve hot breakfast biscuits along with an additional variety of hot and cold items, fruit and milk.

The School Nutrition Program is dedicated to ensuring that our students have every opportunity to succeed. If your students are not able to eat at home, please be sure that they eat at school and start the day “ready to learn.”

Congratulations to Carol Haas, Principal Brunelle, and William Monroe Middle for a wonderful event!