The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) enthusiastically applauds Chicago Public Schools for its decision to expand breakfast in the classroom to all K-8 schools. In a city where one in six residents say they were unable to afford enough food for their families, ensuring that all children have the opportunity to start the day with a healthy morning meal will go a long way in the fight against hunger and overweight.
This is an important program for Chicago – it is a powerful and decisive step to improve the lives and well-being of children across the city. Unfortunately, the voices of a few with concerns are drowning out the many voices of those who want this program. Making breakfast available to every child in Chicago Public Schools gives everyone a stake in the program – a stake in its capacity to reduce hunger, boost learning, improve student behavior, and improve the quality of the food served.
Breakfast in the classroom creates a level playing field – for the children who no longer feel stigmatized for eating breakfast at school, for the parents who want and need the help it provides their families and who want to improve the program further, and for the teachers and principals who want their students to reap the educational benefits of breakfast. The current effort to limit the breakfast in the classroom program will accomplish none of these goals, and only leave Chicago’s children behind.
Read FRAC’s letter of support (pdf) sent to Chicago Public Schools CEO Jean-Claude Brizard.