Our School Breakfast Hero
Sending our kids to school with a healthy breakfast is important for good nutrition and a good education. Taking part in the most important meal of the day can improve the overall health of a child, school attendance, academic performance and the reduction of behavioral challenges.
In effort to ensure that all students have access to a nutritious meal, the Plum Borough School District adopted an alternative model for our children, allowing them to view breakfast as an easier and more exciting option. In September 2018, Ms. Jessica Griggle, Director of Food Services, headed this effort and put forth the “grab and go” and “second chance” grant-funded programs at Plum High School. Situated in the student-designed space, Spirit Café, students can now access their breakfast outside of the cafeteria, reducing the stigma of getting a school breakfast.
According to Ms. Griggle, “Not only do we serve breakfast to more students with this option, we also empower students to gain work experience and professional development opportunities,” adding that the Café has served as the setting for Life Skills students who run the operations during the second chance breakfast and food safety course that help students enter the job market outside of school hours. Student participation has grown 46% since the beginning of the school year. This is an overall win for our students.
On Wednesday, March 6, 2019, Jessica Griggle was the recipient of the School Breakfast Heroes award, sponsored by Share Our Strength, a national organization focusing on child hunger. With only 11 winners in Southwestern PA, we are proud of Ms. Griggle’s accomplishment and dedication to the program and our students. What an honor!
For more information, download the Allies for Children and Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank's annual school breakfast report, Breakfast Basics: A Comprehensive Look at School Breakfast Participation in Aleegheny County, here.