United Way helps implement mobile breakfast program at high school where kids can grab breakfast to start the day

Thursday, March 8, 2018

In recognition of National School Breakfast Week, United Way for Southeastern Michigan will host a breakfast tour with Oakland County elected officials at Hazel Park High School. The majority of students visit the free/mobile cart each morning, getting a healthy start to their day. Through its health initiative, United Way is working to ensure breakfast is accessible for students in six counties across the state. The tour will take place on Thursday, March 8, 2018 from 7 to 8:15 a.m. at Hazel Park High School, located at 23400 Hughes Ave.

Through a grant partnership with Share Our Strength, United Way is working to implement an alternative breakfast model in more than 100 high-need schools in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Kent, Ingham and Genesee counties. Several legislators are scheduled to participate in the tour, including State Rep. Robert Whittenberg and County Commissioner Helaine Zack – both representing Hazel Park.

“School Breakfast programs help students start the day ready to learn,” says Sara Gold, director, Healthy Kids, United Way for Southeastern Michigan. “Models like the Grab and Go breakfast at Hazel Park High School ensure that kids have reliable access to a healthy meal each morning. We are proud to partner with Hazel Park and other school districts that are breaking down barriers to feed more kids.”

Representatives will have the opportunity to witness the school’s new breakfast model in action. After carts were put in place at both the front and back doors, there has been a significant increase of 179-percent in the number of breakfasts served at the school, since the start of the program. Students are able to enjoy the most important meal of the day for free, thanks to a partnership with United Way.

Hazel Park qualifies for a program called Community Eligibility, which allows ALL students to receive breakfast and lunch at NO CHARGE.  The benefits are endless for students who take advantage of eating breakfast in the morning.  Studies show students who consume breakfast have overall improved academic achievement, less behavior issues, better attendance and more energy throughout their school day!

Working with the school since 2017, United Way helped educators purchase Hazel Park High’s first mobile breakfast cart. The school now has two carts, stationed at the school’s main entrances and include items easily portable items, such as granola bars, milk, juice and fresh fruit for students to enjoy at the start of the school day or even after classes begin. The ‘grab and go’ has been a hit from the start. On a typical morning, groggy-eyed students begin trickling in around 7 a.m. and by 7:15 a.m., there’s a line at the breakfast cart.

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About United Way for Southeastern Michigan
United Way for Southeastern Michigan mobilizes the caring power of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties to improve lives in measurable and lasting ways throughout the region. The organization is led by a diverse group of volunteers from business, labor, government, human services, education and the community. United Way provides opportunities to invest in the metropolitan Detroit community through volunteerism, advocacy and its annual campaign. United Way is a leader in convening partners to achieve positive outcomes around Health, Education, and Economic Prosperity. For more information, visit www.UnitedWaySEM.org.