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Simple Changes Lead to More Breakfasts in Wichita Falls

Wichita Falls School District
Wichita Falls, Texas

Participation in Wichita Falls Schools’ universal breakfast program was not doing well. At Milam Elementary, which has a high population of students eligible for free and reduced-price meals, less than 50% of the students were eating school breakfast. Because the district has a goal of ensuring every child has a strong start to their academic day, it applied for and was awarded Action for Healthy Kids’ alternative breakfast grants for 12 of their 26 schools to help increase participation.breakfast milam

Thanks to funds sponsored by Walmart Foundation, the district purchased carts, milk bags and hot bags for each classroom so that students can eat in class. So far this year, the district has experienced a 35% increase overall in school breakfast participation over the previous year. Zundy Elementary, one of the grant-funded schools, reached 90% participation in December, which was an impressive 70% increase over last school year. Milam Elementary experienced a 40% increase.

Sarena Glenn, Resident Dietitian, and Farai Sithole, Resident Director, attribute the success at these schools to the support they received at the very beginning from the teachers and principals. “The principal at Milam Elementary was one of the first in our district to request the program,” said Sarena.

Another key to their success is the fact that teachers are provided breakfast free of charge and encouraged to eat with the students. Teachers have been happy to do this and feel that having breakfast is contributing to the getting the academic day off to a good start for all.