More than 10,000 meals were served during the first month of Copperas Cove ISD Child Nutrition Summer Feeding Program with half of those being breakfast. For many students, breakfast has become the most important meal of the day.
For the 2019-2020 school year, CCISD implemented the Universal Breakfast Program that allows all students to receive free breakfast. The additional effort by CCISD Child Nutrition Department staff earned the district the Texas Association of School Nutritionists Breakfast Participation Increase Award.
“This award is given for those districts who show at least a 10 percent increase in breakfast participation over the last year’s participation,” CCISD Director of Child Nutrition and Warehouse Services Melissa Bryan said. “Our increase was around 12 percent. It was not as high as I would have liked, but it just gives us more to work towards in the coming school year.”
Bryan said her the district will work to more strongly market the program in the coming school year and find ways to encourage students to eat the meal that is absolutely no cost to parents.
“Breakfast jump starts a day of learning for each student,” Bryan said. “Our child nutrition staff are working hard on programs, menus and ideas to encourage kids to join us in the cafeteria and find ways that breakfast is not just a meal, but is a great experience for them.”
When schools across the country were forced to teach lessons off-campus due to COVID-19, the CCISD Child Nutrition Department worked hard to find a new way to continue to serve healthy meals to the students.
“From March until the end of May meals were served at neighborhood schools where the economic need was the highest,” Bryan said. “Once the date rolled around when we would have ended school, we moved into our summer feeding program, revising our locations and how we served meals. Instead of having parents/guardians come to the site twice a day to pick up breakfast and lunch, we adjusted so that they only make the trip once daily. When they come at lunchtime, we also have breakfast ready that we send home with each meal. On Fridays, we send home a six-pack, which includes enough meals to last through breakfast on Monday.”
CCISD’s free meal program is open to anyone in the community 18 years old and younger.
The CCISD Child Nutrition Department underwent a Texas Department of Agriculture Administrative Review or audit of its summer feeding program last week. The audit, despite all of the changes required due to the pandemic, showed no negative findings and declared that the CCISD Child Nutrition Department is operating a flawless program.
“All I can say is that I work with a great group of child nutrition professionals who always go above and beyond to make sure that the kids in our community have all the healthy meals that we can provide.”