School Introduces Free Breakfast Program

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And this year, Brimmer and May is offering cereal, yogurt and oatmeal—with bagels on Fridays.

In a Sept. 19 Washington Post op-ed piece, education reporter Donna St. George writes how breakfast is tied to “better student performance, improved attendance, fewer visits to the health room and better chances of high school graduation for children who start their days with a morning meal.”

For many, though, making time for breakfast taxes an already tight morning routine. During his third week in office, Brimmer and May Senate President AJ Naddaff made progress toward a permanent solution—breakfast at school. In September, Naddaff analyzed data from a recent student poll, showing that 95% of upper school students support the endeavor, with 79% even willing to pay—especially if prices were comparable to last year’s snack prices.

Tyler Best ’18 said he is excited about breakfast at school, especially since he often has trouble trying to eat and arrive to school on time. Alison Gil ’16 also said she supports the endeavor, but she would like healthier and more diverse options. “Being a vegetarian, I am very conscious of what I eat,” Gil says. “I would really like it if the breakfast had gluten free options, and options that are more protein-based.”

Teachers feel equally excited about the new program. “I’ve seen a number of the students eating it and taking advantage of it. I like the idea of it as long as students get to class on time,” says Administrative Assistant Mary Gates. Science Department Chair Cecilia Pan added that for students with long morning commutes, breakfast at school is all the more important. “Lots of studies show that breakfast leads to better focus,” Pan says.

Offering breakfast at school is not a revolutionary idea; it’s just never succeeded. History teacher and Journalism advisor David Cutler ‘02, who served as Senate President in 2002, tried launching a program during his tenure. “I ended up doing all of the work, waking extra early to buy snack bars.”

Naddaff wants students to know that their voices have been heard: “Senate will continue to work with the lunch manager to try and provide even better options. We want to continue hearing student voices.”

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