Governor Steve Bullock and First Lady Lisa Bullock announced Tuesday that the Montana No Kid Hungry program is opening the second round of school breakfast grants to support new school breakfast programs or to assist schools in moving to a Breakfast after the Bell model. Through this grant cycle, they will award $52,500. In the first grant cycle, released in the fall of 2014, twenty schools across Montana received grants totaling $55,000. All grant funding comes from private business donations.

“There are many reasons why Montana children skip breakfast--limited food budgets, challenges with early work schedules and transportation—through these grants and our community partnerships, we’re able to ensure students get a healthy breakfast every morning that will help them succeed in the classroom.” Governor Bullock said. “Childhood hunger in Montana is an important issue, an issue that we’re making great progress toward addressing.”

Governor Bullock and First Lady Bullock implemented the Breakfast after the Bell initiative to increase participation in school breakfast and make it a part of the school day by serving it after the bell. On average, school breakfast participation rises to more than 70 percent when schools implement a Breakfast after the Bell model, versus 30 percent with a traditional model that serves breakfast in the cafeteria before school starts.

“We must take care of the whole child,” First Lady Lisa Bullock said. “By increasing participation in school breakfast and ensuring that all kids have a healthy start to the day, schools can eliminate one of the barriers learning.”

Schools interested in starting a new breakfast program and/or making breakfast part of the school day, contact the Montana No Kid Hungry School Breakfast Coordinator, Rosie Cody at RCody@mt.gov or by phone at 444-3925.