Governor Steve Bullock and First Lady Lisa Bullock today announced nearly $28,000 in private grant funding to implement the Breakfast After the Bell program in an additional eight Montana schools.
“Starting the school day with a nutritional breakfast allows students to focus on learning without being distracted by hunger,” Governor Bullock said. “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 Bullock said. “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 – an innovative service model that shifts the time breakfast is served so students are allowed to eat a meal during or between morning lessons rather than in the cafeteria before classes begin. After incorporating breakfast into the morning schedule, schools see student participation in the breakfast program increase by double or more.
The eight schools that received breakfast grants in this fall 2019 cycle include:
- Box Elder School, Box Elder, $5,000
- 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, Governor and First Lady Bullock have partnered with Montana No Kid Hungry to support over 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, as well as promoting a culture of inclusivity that helps students feel connected and sets a positive tone for the school day. Over 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 MT 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 interested in starting a new breakfast program, transitioning their existing program to an alternative service model, or for questions about upcoming grant opportunities, contact Linda Cleatus at LCleatus@mt.gov or by phone at 406-444-3925.