Hunger-Free Minnesota Announces School Breakfast Challenge Schools

November 22, 2013

Hunger-Free Minnesota Announces School Breakfast Challenge Schools

Hunger-Free Minnesota Selects 40 Schools to Participate in the School Breakfast Challenge

MINNEAPOLIS – November 22, 2013 – Hunger-Free Minnesota announced today that it has selected 40 schools to participate in its School Breakfast Challenge. Hunger-Free Minnesota will provide a $0.10 per meal (up to 25,000 meals) incentive during the 2013-14 school year to participating schools that increase their school breakfast meals served to free-and reduced-price (F/R) eligible children over the prior school year. Financial support for the School Breakfast Challenge comes from the Midwest Dairy Council and the Children’s Defense Fund – Minnesota is an implementation partner.

“We are proud to support the School Breakfast Challenge,” said Lisa McCann RDN, Midwest Dairy Council. “Working with Hunger-Free Minnesota and Minnesota schools we have the opportunity to ensure that more students are able to start their school day with a nutritious meal.”

Low utilization of free and reduced-cost meals from the Minnesota School Breakfast Program is widespread across school districts. Overall usage is only 40 percent. Selected schools include 21 schools from the Metro Area, and 19 from Greater Minnesota.

The following are participating schools:

School District School Name County
Brooklyn Center Community Schools – ISD #286 Earle Brown Elementary Hennepin
Brooklyn Center Community Schools – ISD #286 Brooklyn Center Secondary Hennepin
Burnsville-Eagan-Savage – ISD #191 Nicollet Junior High Dakota
Burnsville-Eagan-Savage – ISD #191 Gideon Pond Elementary Dakota
Burnsville-Eagan-Savage – ISD #191 M.W. Savage Elementary Dakota
Burnsville-Eagan-Savage – ISD #191 Sky Oaks Elementary Dakota
Cloquet Public Schools – ISD #94 Washington Elementary Carlton
Duluth Public School District Piedmont Elementary School St. Louis
Fairmont Area Schools – ISD #2752 Fairmont Elementary School Martin
Floodwood – ISD #698 Floodwood Elementary St. Louis
Floodwood – ISD #698 Floodwood Secondary St. Louis
Fridley School District Stevenson Elementary Anoka
Hopkins Public Schools – ISD #270 Alice Smith Elementary Hennepin
Hopkins Public Schools – ISD #270 Eisenhower Elementary Hennepin
LONG PRAIRIE/GREY EAGLE – ISD #2753 Long Prairie Middle School Todd
Minneapolis Special District #1 Pillsbury Elementary Hennepin
Noble Academy Noble Academy Hennepin
Northern Lights Community School Northern Lights Community School Itasca
Northfield Schools – ISD #659 Greenvale Park Elementary Rice
Northland Community Schools Remer Elementary Cass
Osseo School District – ISD #279 Edinbrook Elementary School Hennepin
Park Rapids School – ISD #309 Park Rapids Area Century Elementary Hubbard
Pipestone Area School District Pipestone Middle School Pipestone
Red Wing Public Schools Sunnyside Elementary Ramsey
Richfield Public Schools Richfield High School Hennepin
Richfield Public Schools Richfield Middle Hennepin
Richfield Public Schools Sheridan Hills Elementary Hennepin
Rochester Public Schools Gage Elementary Olmsted
Rochester Public Schools John Adams Middle School Olmsted
Rochester Public Schools Riverside Central Elementary Olmsted
Rochester Public Schools Willow Creek Middle Olmsted
Rosemount, Eagan, Apple Valley – ISD #196 Echo Park Elementary Dakota
Rosemount, Eagan, Apple Valley – ISD #196 Westview Elementary Dakota
Sebeka Public School Sebeka Secondary Wadena
Thief River Falls Public Schools – ISD #564 Challenger Elementary Pennington
Wadena -Deer Creek Wadena-Deer Creek Senior High Wadena
West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan – ISD #197 Garlough Elementary Dakota
West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan – ISD #197 Heritage Middle Dakota
West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan – ISD #197 Moreland Elementary Dakota
Willmar Public Schools Roosevelt Elementary Kandiyohi


While school breakfast programs are proven to be effective, there is a great opportunity to increase participation. Together these schools are missing 1,263,895 meals due to lack of participation in the school breakfast program. Working with the Children’s Defense Fund, Hunger-Free Minnesota is helping schools tackle some of the barriers that have kept participation rates low.

Children’s Defense Fund – MN executive director Peggy Flanagan said, “We found that many students from low-income households do not participate because of time constraints, transportation and stigma. Participation by all children goes up when schools make school breakfast universal and/or breakfast is part of the classroom experience. Our goal is to eliminate barriers for families so more children who come to school hungry can get a healthy breakfast to set them up for learning.”

“Through the School Breakfast Challenge, Hunger-Free Minnesota is offering not only a financial incentive, but also guidance for improving participation in breakfast programs,” said Ellie Lucas, chief campaign officer for Hunger-Free Minnesota. “We are helping schools to share best practices and breakfast program models that have proven to increase participation.”

Two recent research studies, by Deloitte/No Kid Hungry and the National Dairy Council, demonstrate that children who start their day with a nutritious school breakfast have a better attendance record, higher math test scores, and improved graduation rates. Surveys of teachers also overwhelmingly show that school breakfast works to keep kids focused, behaved, and learning.

“We have already seen how Breakfast in the Classroom benefits our students, not only are they more focused, but it also increases our instructional time,” said Laura Cavendar, Principal at Pillsbury Elementary School in Northeast Minneapolis (one of the selected schools). “We are grateful for the opportunity to improve our program and increase the number of students participating.”

School Breakfast Initiative Partners

  • Hunger-Free Minnesota
  • Office of Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner-Solon
  • Minnesota Department of Education
  • Midwest Dairy Council
  • Children’s Defense Fund – Minnesota
  • General Mills Foundation