Last year, schools adopted the Community Eligibility Provision across the US as part of the 2010 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act. The CEP assures that qualified schools receive meals to feed 100% of their students for both breakfast and lunch.
In the Black Hills, six Rapid City schools have been able to see this program work, and the benefits have been reaching beyond nutrition.
“[We have seen] community spirits build in those classrooms,” said Janelle Peterson, Food Service Supervisor for RCAS. “Everyone comes in from the playground, get his or her breakfast and sits down. Then [they] get a chance to talk and it has really allowed students to bond without cutting in to instructional time.”
Not only is the CEP program allowing students to eat healthier, teachers have also been reminding students as the weekend approaches about what their meals should look like by taking the school offerings as an example.
According to many medical experts, eating in the morning enhances memory, attention, and the speed of processing information. As a student, all of these things fit the bill to being successful in school.
“They’re focusing better in class, less nurses visits, and behaviors are improving. [Because they aren’t hungry] they can focus on learning,” said Janelle.
RCAS is stepping to start the morning right this school year. Nutrition is important, and now there is action being taken to support the words we all know to be true.
If your student(s) is not registered within one of the six schools, you may be eligible for the CEP and should check with your school district about the possibilities.