Bowser announces major expansion of breakfast program for DC students

School classroom with blackboard(Getty Images/iStockphoto/maroke)

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Wednesday that $2 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will be used to expand breakfast programs at more than 100 of the city’s public schools and public charter schools.

At least 75% of students at these schools are eligible for free or reduced-price meals.

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education awarded School Breakfast Expansion Grant funds to 18 local education agencies that serve pre-K through grade 12 students at 104 local schools.

“We know that students who eat a healthy breakfast are better prepared to engage and learn in school,” said Bowser. “With this investment, we can support more families, get more students connected to the Student Breakfast Program, and build healthier classrooms and communities.”

The grants can be used in a range of ways, including to purchase meal service equipment, such as breakfast in the classroom bags, shelves on wheels and warmers to increase access to meals for students.

“While a growing number of D.C. students are food insecure, not all students who are eligible for the School Breakfast Program are participating in the program, and we’re hoping to change that through these grants,” said State Superintendent Dr. Christina Grant. “We are excited to support schools in increasing student participation in the school breakfast program, leading to increases in health and academic outcomes.”

Those receiving the grants include:

  • Apple Tree Early Learning Public Charter School (PCS)\
  • Cedar Tree Academy PCS
  • DC Public Schools (DCPS)
  • DC Department. of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS)
  • Eagle Academy PCS
  • Friendship PCS
  • Howard University Middle School
  • Kingsman Academy PCS
  • Mary McLeod Bethune PCS
  • Monument Academy PCS
  • Seed PCS
  • Social Justice School PCS
  • The Children’s Guild PCS
  • Two Rivers PCS
  • Washington Global PCS
  • Washington Leadership Academy PCS

“Beyond test scores, feeding our children and ensuring that they begin each day with a nutritious, healthy, good breakfast is just the right thing to do. We are overjoyed to have dedicated funding to make breakfast even better for all students and give more the chance to start the day well-fed,” said Patricia Brantley, CEO of Friendship Public Charter School, which received one of the grants.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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