Celebrating School Breakfast Month 2024: Surf’s Up with School Breakfast!

To honor our hardworking child nutrition teams and school staff, the Alliance is pleased to kick off our annual month-long celebration of School Breakfast!

We thank Governor Sarah Sanders for proclaiming March as School Breakfast Month and thank our partners at the Arkansas Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Child Nutrition Unit and the Arkansas School Nutrition Association for their support. Surf’s Up with School Breakfast is this year’s theme, provided by the School Nutrition Association. 

This year in recognition of the month, we visit Chicot Elementary & Early Childhood Center in the Little Rock School District. Knowing that Breakfast After the Bell programs, which make breakfast a part of the school day, ensure more students realize the benefits of school breakfast, we are highlighting the successful Breakfast in the Classroom model long utilized at Chicot and many Arkansas elementary schools to serve nutritious, USDA-approved meals delivered right to the classroom.

Surf’s Up with School Breakfast!

For over a decade, the Alliance has partnered with the Arkansas Governor’s office and key child health and education advocates to proclaim March as School Breakfast Month and challenge school districts to increase school breakfast participation. According to the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), school breakfast leads to reduced food insecurity, improved student health, and better attendance and behavior in the classroom. 

“It’s important to encourage school nutrition teams who are working hard to provide the most nutritious foods in creative ways,” said Vivian Nicholson, Breakfast Program Director for the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance. “It’s no secret that school breakfast equals success and we want to recognize schools that go the extra mile.”

This year, we ask school districts to participate in the Challenge in one or more of these award categories: Participation Challenge, Promotion Challenge,  and Breakfast After the Bell Challenge. Participating schools are eligible to win dollars for their child nutrition programs. Challenge winners are announced in April.


We celebrate March as School Breakfast Month to highlight the role that the USDA’s School Breakfast Program plays in ensuring that all Arkansas students are healthy, active, and ready to learn every day so they can thrive. 

Breakfast After the Bell programs, which make breakfast part of the school day, have been shown to be effective ways of ensuring more students realize the benefits of breakfast. Since Breakfast After the Bell programs were introduced in Arkansas schools in the 2011-2012 school year, the number of breakfast meals served to students increased by 7.3 million – more than 27 percent – by 2022, due in part to the implementation of school meal delivery best practices such as Breakfast in the Classroom, Second Chance Breakfast, and Grab and Go Breakfast.

During the 2022-2023 school year, in a notable change, the number of school breakfasts served decreased by 7.86%, likely due to ongoing impacts of the pandemic on food prices, staffing shortages, and meal delivery challenges.

Child nutrition workers across Arkansas continue to rise to the challenge, with many returning to tried and true Breakfast After the Bell meal delivery and menu options to serve healthy breakfasts to more students so they can start their day with the fuel they need to succeed.

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