Across the country, only 38 percent of all teens eat breakfast every day,1 and three out of five educators report teaching kids who regularly arrive at school hungry.2 At Central Middle School in Kansas City, logistical challenges and late arrivals were preventing many students from eating the breakfast served daily in the cafeteria. School leaders at Central Middle School had to find a creative solution to better prep kids’ minds for learning and sustain their nourishment throughout the day.
Josh Mathiasmeier, Kansas City’s Director of Nutritional Services, and Principal Kristen Scott knew they needed a system that would bring students and staff together to make breakfast more accessible. They landed on a program that would provide a balanced breakfast to all students while in homeroom. With the help of Central’s cafeteria manager, the cafeteria staff and approximately 25 student volunteers, Josh and his team develop, package and deliver meals to each of Central’s more than 1,200 students.
The program has been an overwhelming success, benefiting all students, engaging many in a valuable wellness program and creating a positive family-style environment to start each day. Since the program began, students at Central Middle School have been motivated to arrive at school on time and are more alert in their classes throughout the day.
When parents and school leaders work together, school wellness — that environment in which every child can access good nutrition and regular physical activity — is realistic and achievable.