It would be an understatement to say things have changed a lot in the past year, but today I want to celebrate a consistent resource in our school district for students and families. Ever since we closed school buildings — and before the pandemic began — Student Nutrition Services has been committed to providing nutritious meals for students.
Students do better in school when they have access to healthy meals, and at the San Francisco Unified School District we are committed to providing this essential nutrition to all students who need it.
In past years during the month of March, we celebrate National School Breakfast Week in classrooms as a way to highlight the importance of starting off our day with a healthy meal. When we are learning in person, we have a program called Breakfast After the Bell which can include serving breakfast in the classroom, on a hallway cart or during mid-morning breaks. Schools with Breakfast After the Bell programs see an increased number of students eating breakfast, which has many benefits.
We typically serve our 1 millionth breakfast of the school year in early March, right around the national holiday celebrating school breakfasts. This school year, I’m excited to share that we have served an additional 600,000 more breakfasts, meaning we’re up to 1.6 million breakfasts since school buildings closed last March.
And don’t fret – there are many ways for families to celebrate National School Breakfast Week with us from the safety of your home!
Ask your child what their favorite breakfast is and why. My favorite breakfast food is oatmeal because it is delicious and you can add so many good things to it, like raisins and cinnamon.
Another way to celebrate is to tune in to our original educational TV show “SF Loves Learning” on KTVU Plus or the SFUSD YouTube Channel to meet some of our dining staff and hear about favorite breakfasts. You can find the segment on Monday, March 8 show.
As a reminder, SFUSD families can get breakfasts for free at 18 Grab & Go sites on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Get five breakfasts on Tuesday pickups, along with five days’ worth of lunches, suppers, fresh fruit and veggies. Get two breakfasts on Thursday pickups, along with two days’ worth of lunches, suppers, fresh fruit and veggies.
Grab & Go breakfast menus include a variety of hot and cold breakfasts, such as cereal, bars, yogurt, French toast sticks, muffins, bars, oatmeal (my favorite!), and breakfast sandwiches.
Find up-to-date locations, time, schedules, and what to bring at sfusd.edu/schoolfood.
Vincent Matthews is the superintendent of schools for the San Francisco Unified School District. He is a guest columnist.