Two North Platte Public Schools receive NE Breakfast Challenge Award

NORTH PLATTE, Neb.-- Two schools in North Platte are seeing more students participating in the district's free breakfast program.

The number of students sitting down are up by more than 250 percent.

"I have been working with the state and the principals for several years to get them to look at alternatives at breakfast," said Sodexo General Manager Larry Young.

But Young says changing the thinking habits of a lot of administrators and teachers to process breakfast is a great thing for kids, has not been an easy task.

"Across the district, we are serving a couple of thousand everyday or more compared to where we used to be at 1,000 so we've doubled our breakfast participation at all levels," said Young. "The high school has gone from 75 to 80 to over 400 a day. It's phenomenal what's going on."

On Wednesday, Adams Middle School and Eisenhower Elementary were honored by the Nebraska Department of Education's Nutrition Services for providing alternative models to help kids start their day on the right track.

"Having that quick breakfast, those kids just go through the line very fast so it is just really appealing for them," said Nebraska Department of Education Services Assistant Director Shannon Fowler. "So we like to have them have an alternative breakfast because they are getting a chance to eat."

Adams Middle School increased their breakfast participation by 267 percent and Eisenhower Elementary saw similar increases.

"I'm not as tired as I usually am and it helps me get through the day," said Adams Middle School seventh grader, Merissa Panic.

Business Manager Stuart Simpson says $78,000 was budgeted for the district's free breakfast program, which is consistent to last year's budget.