Hastings elementary school works to ensure all students get a healthy breakfast
HASTINGS, Neb. —
It’s hard to do your best when your stomach's grumbling and studies show Nebraska ranks near the bottom for school breakfast.
This is why one Hastings school takes a unique approach to make sure every student has a meal to eat.
"The apple juice is my favorite, sometimes they have strawberries and everyone loves those," said 5th grade student at Lincoln Elementary Gracey McIntyre.
Breakfast in the Classroom is an initiative that was first implemented into the school three years ago.
Kids don't have to feel embarrassed to come to the cafeteria before school; instead, all kids can eat together in the classroom at the start of the day.
"We have about 330 students here at Lincoln, and we are sitting at about a 93 percent poverty rate, and we have about 22 percent migrant that move in and out," said Lincoln Elementary School Principal Cara Kimball.
Administrators said this approach ensures every student, no matter their socio-economic level, can have a good meal.
"Kids are no different than adults and if their stomachs aren't full, it’s tough for them to concentrate, it’s tough for them to sit in the classroom for four hours before lunch comes along, especially if they're hungry the whole time. So having something in their stomach gives them energy and also helps their focus," said Director of Business and Finance for Hastings Public Schools Jeff Schneider.
Some students shared how much they really loved the food.
"Their breakfast is really delicious, especially their breakfast pizza. I never really get hungry after I eat,” Mcintyre said.
This is also a great way make parents' lives easier in the morning.
"My mom is home all by herself, trying to get us ready and herself ready since she has to go to work too, so it's kind of hard for her to make breakfast and have her get us all ready so it’s just has made her life easier that the school has breakfast for us," McIntyre said.
Administrators from Hastings Public Schools said Lincoln Elementary has been the pilot school for this Breakfast in the Classroom program.
They said they're hoping with time, they will be able to expand this program to other surrounding schools.
Once the school year ends, any student 18 years and younger can stop by Lincoln Elementary for a free summer lunch meal.
This will begin the Tuesday after Memorial Day through the end of July.