BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – Starting with the 2019-20 school year, all Fort Madison Community School District students will be entitled to a free breakfast at their respective schools.
According to Tiffany Fullhart, the school’s Food Service Director, breakfast will begin at 7:30 a.m. at all schools and will be served until classes begin.
For the 2018-2019 school year, breakfast was $1.60 for paid status, $0.30 for reduced status, and no cost for free status students. The FMCSD has been providing K-3 students free breakfast for several years.
“This expands free breakfast to grades 4-12 beginning with the 2019/20 school year,” Fullhart said. “The importance of breakfast for students and their ability to concentrate and learn, has always been a priority. The balance in the nutrition fund allows for the district to expand the free breakfast program.”
According to a release from the district on Monday, with free breakfast, students will benefit nutritionally, academically, and socially. By eating breakfast, students get more important nutrients, vitamins and minerals such as calcium, dietary fiber, folate and protein (Wilson et al., 2006).
Eating breakfast also helps students pay attention, perform problem-solving tasks, and improve their math and reading skills (Alaimo et al., 2001 & Rampersaud et al., 2005). Children who eat school breakfast are more likely to behave better in school and get along with their peers than those who do not (Benton et al., 2007).
Not only will this breakfast benefit our students, it will benefit our families as well. By providing free breakfast at school, our families can save time and money. FMCSD understands that morning can be hectic, so we’ll handle breakfast.
The nutrition fund at FMCSD will support the cost of providing breakfast to all students. This small cost is insignificant to the huge benefit we will see by providing a nutritious breakfast to all children in our district.
The Fort Madison Community School District is excited to save our families time and fuel our students learning.
The district announced in May that there will also be a free lunch program this summer again for school-aged children through July with the exception of the 4th of July holiday.