PITTSBORO — The Chatham County Board of Education approved universal free breakfast in all schools, and a second chance breakfast in all district high school cafeterias for the 2023-24 school year. In addition, the Board of Education approved a $0.50 price increase for lunch for the 2023-24 school year.
The Universally Free School Breakfast Program and Second Chance Breakfast protect our students from hunger. These programs also have long-lasting effects on academic achievement and health. Breakfast positively impacts student behavior, subject retention, test scores and absenteeism. Second chance breakfast serves as an opportunity for high school students to pick up a quick breakfast during breaks in between classes. These flexible models allow for high school students to get the nutrition they need to get through the day, without keeping them to a strict schedule for picking up a meal.
“Although the cost of lunch is increasing by 0.50¢, removing the cost for breakfast reduces the overall meal cost at schools, per child, by $250 a year. At just $4.00 a day for two meals, students can be fed, healthy, and set up for academic success, and we see that as a win-win for parents and students,” said Jennifer Ozkurt, director of school nutrition.
Chatham County Schools Nutrition has implemented creative programming to encourage students to make healthy choices by increasing the amount of fruits and vegetable offerings, creating new recipes, which in turn increases menu diversity, offering grab-and-go options, and educating Pre-K students on nutritional meal choices.