School Breakfast and Breakfast After the Bell

child hunger Fuel the Body, Fuel the Mind!

Eating breakfast is critical to ensuring student’s health and success. Some benefits of breakfast include:

  • Increased attendance
  • Students alert and ready to learn
  • Increased standardized test scores
  • Children less likely to suffer from illnesses
  • Improved health and behavior outcomes

Many schools offer breakfast before school and in the cafeteria, but for many students, this is not ideal. They may arrive late, the cafeteria may be far away and inconvenient, they would rather socialize with friends, students may not be hungry right away in the morning - especially teens - and there may be stigma associated with needing to get breakfast from school.

Why Breakfast After the Bell?

To mitigate these barriers, many schools are adopting alternative meal models in addition to their traditional breakfast at the start of the day, because every child deserves the right to begin their day with a nutritious meal that prepares them to learn. SHH supports the breakfast program through partnering with schools and school districts to strategize meal expansion opportunities for increasing student participation.

Breakfast After the Bell (BAB) is an alternative meal model that includes Breakfast in the Classroom (BIC), Grab and Go (GNG), and Second Chance breakfast, and each model is implemented into the school day’s schedule. When these models are adopted, breakfast is served after the official start of the school day. These alternative models have been shown to effectively and significantly boost school breakfast participation.

Benefits to BAB model

  • Offered in an easy to access central location, as opposed to the cafeteria
  • Accommodates late student arrival
  • Provides more time for children to eat
  • Lessens stigma associated with eating breakfast served in the cafeteria
  • Why should we increase breakfast participation?
  • Help fight child hunger
  • Help reduce childhood obesity
  • Help children lead healthier lives
  • Help children academically
  • Help increase the school’s funding

The School Breakfast Program plays an essential role in decreasing food insecurity among students and has significant benefits on overall student outcomes. Programs like BAB ensure that more students have access to this critical resource to support their academic success.

Data and Reports

FRAC: Research Brief: Benefits of Breakfast

NKH: No Kid Hungry Starts with Breakfast

Making breakfast part of the school day

Through alternative meal models, Breakfast After the Bell provides an opportunity to serve breakfast during the school day, after the instructional bell, where all students can eat in the classroom or in a common area. Three alternative models are available to choose from, with the flexibility to tailor each model to meet the needs of your school and your students.

  • Breakfast in the Classroom (BIC):
  • Grab and Go to the Classroom (GNG):
    • Mobile service carts are strategically placed in one or more high traffic areas of the school (hallways, entryways, cafeteria etc.). Students can pick up prepackaged breakfast and eat in their classroom or another common area. Meals under the GNG model are eaten after the first instructional bell.
    • Grab N’ Go to the Classroom 101 (webinar)
  • Second Chance Breakfast:
    • Offered between periods or during a mid-morning break, this model is popular with middle and high school students as more children are likely to eat later in the day. Students pick up food from mobile carts placed in high traffic areas of the school and eat their meal in the classroom or are given the opportunity to go to the cafeteria. This model is works like GNG but is offered later in the morning.
    • Second Chance Breakfast 101 (webinar)

How does Second Harvest Heartland Help?

At Second Harvest Heartland, we partner with schools to provide financial support, assistance with the implementation process and any challenges that may arise, and we provide access to up-to-date best practice resources. SHH works directly with the No Kid Hungry campaign and can provide technical assistance tailored to the needs of each specific school.

Funding Opportunities:

Second Harvest Heartland, in partnership with Share Our Strength, is pleased to offer grant funding to support schools in transitioning to alternative breakfast models, or supporting already-existing BAB. This opportunity is available to new and returning schools. Grant funds can be used towards costs such as, but not limited to:

  • Equipment purchase
  • Professional development
  • Supplies
  • Marketing
  • Etc.

Please refer to our Funding Opportunities page to learn about current or upcoming grants.

If you are interested in working with SHH or have more questions on the Breakfast Program, please contact Director of Programs Theresa McCormick at

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