Source: NorthFulton.com

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CANDY WAYLOCK
Mimosa Elementary serves students with ‘Grab and Go’ breakfast programs
Unique breakfast program in place at 20 Fulton schools

by Candy Waylock

April 23, 2014

ROSWELL, Ga. – Mimosa Elementary School in Roswell is one of 20 schools in the Fulton County School System offering students a unique "Grab and Go" opportunity to eat breakfast outside the cafeteria.

Every morning, students can pick up their choice of a hot or cold bagged "Grab and Go" breakfast from the cafeteria or at a hallway kiosk to eat before the start of the school day. The breakfasts include a whole grain entrée, fresh fruit and juice or milk.

"Studies show that children who eat breakfast at school improve their test scores, increase attendance and visit the school nurse less frequently," said Alyssia Wright, director of the district's school nutrition program. "When students [are hungry], they are unable to concentrate and learn to their full potential."

The idea of expanding more Grab and Go breakfast programs in Fulton County schools was made possible by a grant from the AASA, the School Superintendents Association and the Walmart Foundation.

Grant funds paid for start-up costs including mobile kiosks, wireless cashier equipment, breakfast bags and custodial supplies to facilitate efficient clean-up after breakfast.

"We didn't want the program to mean more work for teachers, food service staff or custodial staff, but instead wanted it to become about learning a new routine and doing the job a little differently," said Wright.

Multi-disciplinary school breakfast teams, comprised of school administration, nutrition managers, head custodians and teachers at each school, were formed and work together to make decisions and communicate as needed to ensure the most efficient process is in place.

"From determining the best location of kiosks to managing the safe flow of student traffic, having a school breakfast team in place has helped customize the breakfast program at each school," Wright said.

At Mimosa Elementary, officials said breakfast meals have increased from 412 daily to an average of 634 students eating school breakfast each day.

FCSS is one of six urban school districts in the nation awarded a grant last year to fund the school breakfast program. In addition to Mimosa Elementary, the Grab and Go program is in place at Barnwell Elementary and Holcomb Bridge Middle School.

RN 04-24-14