Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Washburn Rural Middle School Doubles Breakfasts Served with Mobile Cart

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Washburn Rural Middle School Doubles Breakfasts Served with Mobile Cart

Article excerpt

Washburn Rural Middle School has more than doubled the number of children it serves breakfast -- with help from a new grant.

The school is one of more than two dozen in Kansas that received funding to expand their breakfast programs. The grants come from the Midwest Dairy Council.

Washburn Rural put its $5,000 award into a specialized cart that makes breakfast mobile.

It's been only about a week, but the school's plan already is working, says Stan Vallis, director of food service for Unified School District 437. Students who arrived at school without eating breakfast weren't eating it at school either, because the cafeteria was too far from the front of the school. As a result, the short time window between arriving at school and starting class wasn't enough. About 50 students a day were eating breakfast at the 1,000- student school, but the food service staff suspected more would eat if they had the time.

Now the staff bring breakfast foods to the front of the school on the specialized cart, creating a grab-and-go program.

"We're doubling the number and serving like 130 students -- and we just started," Vallis said. "It's really helped the students to get some nutrition to start the day, which is really important."

Breakfast costs $1.30. About a third of the student body qualifies for free or reduced-price meals.

Dwight Rokey, a member of the association who operates a dairy farm near Sabetha, visited the middle school as part of an event to celebrate the grants.

"I think it's exciting," said Rokey, who has worked in the dairy industry for about two decades. "The kids can come through and grab something healthy for breakfast."

After the event, officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture toured the school's kitchens to get a first-hand look. …

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