New Walmart Grant Expands AASA School Breakfast Initiative

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kitty Porterfield, kporterfield@aasa.org, 703-774-6953

Seven Additional Districts Receive Support

Alexandria, Va., May 22, 2012 – AASA, The School Superintendents Association, has announced the addition of seven school districts to its school breakfast program. Three districts are in California, two in Georgia, and two in New York state. The program expansion is made possible by an additional Walmart grant of $2,500,00.

The purpose of the AASA breakfast initiative is to significantly increase the participation of needy children in already existing federal school breakfast programs. Studies have shown that children are not enrolled in the program for a number of reasons—either because their school does not provide the program, their parents do not have sufficient information about the program or understand that they are eligible to participate, or transportation to get the child to school in time for breakfast is not available.

“We know that more than 19 million children in this country qualify to receive free or reduced-price lunch at school, but less than half of them get breakfast at school—even though federal programs exist to feed them,” said AASA executive director Daniel A. Domenech in announcing the grant.

“In the districts where we will be working, as many as 85 to 95 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. We have already demonstrated that this AASA initiative creates broad awareness and support among school district and community leaders for the breakfast program. It is our intent to help districts build sustainable programs. All students need breakfast to fuel their work.”

Based on the success of last year’s models, districts will choose from a variety of ways to distributed breakfast. Grab’n’Go Kiosks and vending machines work well in middle and high schools. Breakfast in the Classroom is the best delivery model in elementary schools. Over the next months, district staff members, including superintendents, principals and food service directors, will create plans for each school. Grant money will be used to help districts prepare for the program, buying food kiosks or additional food storage freezers, for example. The meals are federally funded. The programs will launch during the coming school year.

The districts named as participants this year are:

District   State Superintendent 
Mt. Vernon City School District NY Judith Johnson
Schenectady City School District NY Laurence T. Spring
Mountain View School District CA Lillian Maldonado French
El Monte Union High School District CA Nick Salerno
 Inglewood Unified School District CA LaTanya Kirk Carter
Savannah-Chatham County Public School SystemGAThomas Lockamy
Fulton County SchoolsGARobert Avossa

During the previous school year, AASA worked with four districts to launch similar breakfast programs. More information on the 2012-2013 initiative, including an extensive review of the districts and their programs (PDF), is at http://www.aasa.org/breakfastdistricts.aspx.

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About AASA
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit www.aasa.org. Follow AASA on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AASAHQ or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AASApage.