Breakfast program honored by USDA

By Staff
Leada Gore FCT Staff Writer
Franklin County Superintendent Bill Moss and Child Nutrition Supervisor Cathy Humphres were served up a big honor last week.
Franklin County's Child Nutrition Program was named the regional winner of the United States Department of Agriculture's 14th annual Best Practices Award. Franklin County earned its award for the expansion of its school breakfast program. The system received a resolution from the State Board of Education last week.
"I am very proud of all our Child Nutrition Program employees, especially our CNP managers in the outstanding job they have done in promoting our school breakfast program over the past three years," Humphres said. "They have set goals and met them. Each year, participation has increased due to their organized efforts."
According to Humphres, 37 percent of the total school enrollment takes advantage of the breakfast program. That's an increase of 5 percent from last year. This year's goal is 50 percent participation.
Franklin County's system was recognized for its "innovative approach" to increasing involvement in the school breakfast program, including making changes to its bus schedule to allow more students to take advantage of the meals. The system was also recognized for its "innovative marketing strategies" to increase breakfast participation through things such as contests and nutrition education.
Humphres said she encourages students and their parents to take advantage of the federal dollars available to help cover costs associated with the program. It's concerns over about dollars and cents that prevent many students from participating, she said.
"Many parents and students are not aware of our school breakfast program and how much money it can save families," she said.
The breakfast program is a federally funded program with students receiving free, reduced (30 cents) or paid ($1) breakfasts. The same standards are used to qualify for free lunch as free breakfast.
The cafeteria opens at 7 a.m. each morning.
Just as important, a good breakfast gets a student on the right track for health and learning.
"School breakfast ensures students get the nutrients they need for improving academics and their overall health," Humphres said. "School breakfast exposes students to wholesome foods rather than foods with empty calories that often leads to obesity."

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