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Meridian High School Sees Success with School Breakfast

Meridian High School
Mounds, Illinois

Students at Meridian High School in Mounds, IL often come to school hungry. With a 94.5% poverty rate, school breakfast and lunch are commonly the only meals students receive. Proving a high need for an alternative school breakfast program, Meridian High received a school breakfast grant from Action for Healthy Kids and the Walmart Foundation.

The school health team at Meridian implemented an alternative school breakfast program to meet the need of students who may arrive late or miss the original breakfast in an effort to reduce the number of students starting their day hungry. School Grant Coordinator Jill Dare noted, “We serve a second chance breakfast. The traditional breakfast is great, but many students come to school late or are unable to eat first thing in the morning, so this option is very beneficial for the students.”

As a result of this program, students go to the nurse less frequently, and they have learned about nutritious breakfasts. Breakfast participation is increasing each month, and so do parents’ comments on how much their kids talk about the second chance breakfast. Meridian student Joquan Mallerd said, “I didn’t know that yogurt was so good!” Nurse Power added, “It is so refreshing to see the kids eating healthy food instead of candy bars!”

Meridian looks to continue its success with efforts to improve student health and wellness when they host their Every Kid Healthy Week event in April 2018. During this event, the school will host a combination of a taste test activity and walkathon to show their support for school health and wellness. The students are charged with organizing the event to gain leadership experience.

With the support of its grant, Meridian High School is seeing great success with its school breakfast program, from increasing daily participation and student nutrition to reducing the number of student absences. With strong school leadership and an impactful school health team, Meridian aims to continue prioritizing student health and wellness.