LANGDON — Fall Mountain Regional High School has been awarded a $5,000 grant to buy a breakfast cart to use throughout its building, the Kellogg Co. and the No Kid Hungry campaign recently announced.
The Langdon school is one of 10 nationally — and the only one in New England — to receive this grant through the Elevate the Plate Challenge. The joint effort of No Kid Hungry and the cereal and snack-foods giant promotes innovation in school meal programs and getting more students to participate in them, according to a campaign statement. No Kid Hungry is a national campaign that was launched in 2010 by the nonprofit organization Share Our Strength.
“Three out of four public school teachers say students regularly come to school hungry,” Jill Davis, No Kid Hungry’s chief revenue officer, said in a prepared statement. “But we know getting kids healthy meals at school is a critical step in ending childhood hunger once and for all in America.”
One of the top challenges Fall Mountain faces in getting kids to partake in the morning meal program is a lack of awareness about it, as well as many students’ preference to chat with friends instead of coming into the cafeteria to eat, according to the grant announcement.
In addition to the cart, the grant will pay for some free breakfast and lunch events to promote the school’s dining options, said Jaca Hughes, food service director for The Abbey Group at the Fall Mountain high school.
Hughes said she’s always looking for ways to boost participation in the school’s meals programs. The high school has already seen a 50 percent increase in students eating breakfast this year, which Hughes attributed to the hiring of a local chef, John Vigneau, who has been making more foods from scratch rather than relying on pre-made items.
She hopes the breakfast cart can lead to a further increase, by bringing breakfast into the hallways and reaching students where they are.
Purchases will work as they do in the cafeteria, with students paying full price, reduced price or eating for free, depending on whether they qualify for free or reduced lunch.
Hughes said she hasn’t yet decided what type of cart would best meet the high school’s needs, but the options range from a relatively simple pushcart to something larger and capable of offering both hot and cold foods.
Also awarded grants were schools in Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, New York, Texas, Virginia and Washington.