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Hazlet Elementary Schools to Offer Breakfast to Students

The program will begin on Monday, Jan. 7

Hazlet elementary students will soon have the ability to purchase breakfast at school, according to Superintendent Bernard Bragen. 

The breakfast program, which begins on Monday, Jan. 7, is optional for parents of children in grades first through sixth. 

The prepackaged meals vary each day and students must order the breakfast the day before it is provided, Bragen explained. The meals generally include three items, such as yogurt, graham crackers and chilled fruit. The food is provided by Maschio's, who is also the district's lunch provider. 

Each breakfast costs $1.25, however students who receive reduced lunch pay $0.30. Students who qualify for free lunch also receive breakfast for free, according to Bragen. 

A pilot for the breakfast program began at Lillian Drive Elementary School in October 2012 for students with financial need, Bragen explained. 

"It initially targeted those students that were getting free and reduced lunch to make sure they were eating a nutritious breakfast," he said. "If students are hungry, they can't learn. We recognized that there were some students that were not eating breakfast."

As the program gained popularity, the district discovered that families who did not qualify for free and reduced lunch also wanted the opportunity to purchase breakfast at school.

"What we found was that the rest of the population liked to have the option too. Being a father of three daughters I can understand," he said. "It's one less thing to do while getting them out to school in the morning."

For now the breakfast program will only be available to elementary students. However, Bragen noted that if it continues to be successful they may consider it at the other schools.

"With buildings of 500 or 1,000 students there is a little more involved in the logistics of it, but we'll consider all options," he said.

Charles E. Hoffman. Jr. January 04, 2013 at 01:43 PM
I fully understand the financial aspects of this program however, I feel strongly that the program should NOT be extended to those who are not in financial need. Reason? It will result in another aspect of responsibility for the health and well being of one's children being shifted to the schools. Parents should be responsible for and to oversee that their children have a decent/healthy breakfast. I have been told for years that Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for growing children.

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