Next year, St. Michael-Albertville students will have more flexibility when it comes to their first meal of the day. That’s because the STMA school board recently approved adding a breakfast program for E-12 students.
All kindergarten students will receive a free breakfast every day, and all other grades can purchase the meal at a price of approximately $1.80-$1.90 per day. Students on free and reduced lunch, currently comprising almost 12 percent of the student body, will receive the meal at no charge. Superintendent Dr. Ann-Marie Foucault likened the new breakfast program to the lunch program, where families can choose whether to have their child eat breakfast at home (akin to cold lunch) or at school (like hot lunch).
At the outset, food service coordinator Delores Helgeson said they want to start simple with mostly grab and go items. She said they hope to provide one hot item per week at first and add more as they get settled into the program. The breakfast meal will include four different choices each day, and students must choose at least three, with one being a fruit or vegetable, in order for it to qualify as a reimbursable meal. Helgeson said the breakfast package deal would likely be more affordable for students than choosing individual items at a la carte prices.
Some examples of grab and go items include pre-packaged waffles, pancakes, muffins, cinnamon rolls and Pop Tarts.
Helgeson said the current breakfast plan calls for two grains and a fruit or vegetable, but she said they can substitute one protein in place of a grain item. Possible protein items could include string cheese, yogurt or sunflower seeds.
“I’ll try to do a protein every day so they can take a protein versus a second grain,” she said.
Most students will be able to eat in the cafeteria before school begins, though a limited number of students may eat in classrooms if their bus arrival time doesn’t allow for that.
“We’re going to work together to make it work,” Helgeson said. “There’s definitely a need for students, and we’re happy to provide that.”
“This is something parents have asked for over the years for numerous reasons,” Superintendent Dr. Ann-Marie Foucault added. “Students who are hungry have difficulty learning, so this is an optional service to help alleviate this.”