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Gov. Roy Cooper releases $1.3M in federal money to support school breakfast programs

Credit: iStock

by Greg Childress, NC Newsline
February 27, 2024

Gov. Roy Cooper on Tuesday announced the release of $1.3 million in federal grants to 42 public schools to expand access to healthy school breakfasts for more than 51,000 students.

The NC Innovative School Breakfast Grants will be awarded to school districts and charter schools that implement innovative school breakfast models such as Breakfast in the Classroom, Second Chance Breakfast and Grab and Go Breakfast.

“Our public schools not only provide safe places for children to learn, but also healthy meals for students who sometimes face food insecurity at home,” Cooper said in a statement. “These grants will help more public schools provide breakfast for children in the classroom so they can start their day ready to learn and be successful.”

Nearly 60% of the state’s public school children qualify for free-or reduced-priced meals and one in six children in the state lives in a household without consistent access to food, according to a press release from the governor’s office.

Research shows that eating a healthy school breakfast and lunch improves student attendance, discipline and academic performance.

“School meals are an instructional intervention,” said Lou Anne Crumpler, director of the Carolina Hunger Initiative. “From reducing chronic absenteeism to improving reading achievement, small changes in how school breakfast is served can make big impacts on student success.”

Morgan Wittman Gramann, executive director of the NC Alliance for Health, added: “We know that hungry kids can’t learn. These grants enable schools to find creative ways to make sure that every child has the nutrition that they need to focus on learning.”

Districts and charters can use the grants to buy kitchen equipment to increase meal prep capacity and serving equipment to more easily and efficiently distribute meals to students. Some programs are already underway, and others will start in the fall.

All schools selected for grants participate in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) program, which is a federal program that provides free meals to students in schools with high percentages of low-income students and students at-risk of failing academically.

Here is the list of grant recipients:

Alexander County Schools

Arapahoe Charter School

Asheboro City Schools

Buncombe County Schools

Cabarrus County Schools

Catawba County Schools

Cherokee County Schools

Cleveland County Schools

Craven County Schools

Durham Public Schools

Edgecombe County Public Schools

Graham County Schools

Greene County Public Schools

Guilford County Schools

Guilford Preparatory Academy Charter School

Halifax County Schools

Henderson Collegiate

Henderson County Public Schools

Iredell-Statesville Schools

Johnston County Public Schools

Madison County Schools

Mitchell County Schools

New Hanover County Schools

North East Carolina Prep School

Pamlico County Schools

Pender County Schools

Polk County Schools

Robeson County Schools

Rockingham County Schools

Rowan-Salisbury Schools

Rutherford County Schools

Sampson County Schools

Surry County Schools

Swain County Schools

Transylvania County Schools

Tyrrell County Schools

Union County Public Schools

Wake County Public School System

Washington County Schools

Wilkes County Schools

Wilson County Schools

Yadkin County Schools

NC Newsline is part of States Newsroom, a nonprofit news network supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. NC Newsline maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Rob Schofield for questions: info@ncnewsline.com. Follow NC Newsline on Facebook and Twitter.