Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the Vermont Breakfast After the Bell Challenge?

Hunger Free Vermont and New England Dairy & Food Council in collaboration with the Vermont Breakfast After the Bell co-sponsors, challenge schools across the state to increase student participation in the School Breakfast Program (SBP) by 20% or more by moving breakfast after the bell. 

Extensive research shows that the single most effective intervention a school can make to increase breakfast participation is to move breakfast after the bell in some form (classroom, grab and go, second chance, breakfast at snack time, etc.)

What is considered “Breakfast After the Bell” for this Challenge?

As defined by this challenge, “Breakfast After the Bell” will be considered any form of reimbursable breakfast meal served as part of the school day. Service models can include, but are not limited to:

  • Breakfast served in the classroom

  • Grab n’ Go style service in the hallways or cafeteria

  • Breakfast at snack time or after first period

  • Second Chance breakfast in the cafeteria

How will schools compete in this challenge?

The Challenge will run for the 2018-19 school year.  To enter the Challenge schools must register here. Schools that offer a breakfast after the bell model and increase student ADP in breakfast by 20% or more over the previous school year will be publicly recognized for their achievement.

How will schools’ progress be tracked and recognized during the challenge?

School breakfast participation increases will be calculated for one month in each term (November 2018 and March 2019).  Breakfast Challenge awards will be given to schools each term who reach the challenge goal of increasing student ADP in the SBP by 20%.

The school that achieves the greatest participation increase will be declared the Challenge Champion.

School breakfast ADP increase will be calculated by comparing the ADP from the current term against the same month in the previous school year, based on SBP meal reimbursement data submitted to the VT Agency of Education.

All winning schools will be acknowledged on the Vermont Breakfast After the Bell Challenge page of Hunger Free Vermont’s School Meals Resource Hub, promoted in local and statewide media, and eligible for banner awards.

Throughout the year, select schools participating in the Challenge will be profiled and celebrated in the local and statewide press and through the professional E-Newsletters of the co-sponsors.

In addition to recognition, what are the other benefits for our students, staff, and community?

Improved student learning, improved student health, and improved meal program finances are what’s in it for your students and your whole school community.  Read a summary of the research. Many Vermont schools that have moved breakfast after the bell have realized financial profits in their school breakfast programs that have helped them subsidize lunch costs, purchase more local food, and launch other nutrition programs.

How can a school compete if it does not yet serve breakfast after the bell?

We encourage school districts that do not currently serve breakfast after the bell to adapt their School Breakfast Program to a BAB model to participate in this challenge.  Schools may begin providing breakfast after the bell at any point during the 2018-19 school year, and still be counted in the Challenge.  This allows schools to use the first half of the school year to plan, and the second half of the school year to implement the Challenge.

What if my school has already moved breakfast after the bell?

If your school started breakfast after the bell at any point after January 2018, you are still eligible to participate in the Challenge!

How can we increase our school breakfast participation?

We encourage schools and districts to try innovations in their school breakfast models to help increase student participation through new delivery methods and enhanced menu offerings.   We are offering school grants and technical assistance to help you in your efforts to increase participation. 

Are there resources available to help my school focus on breakfast after the bell?

Yes!  Visit Hunger Free Vermont’s Vermont Breakfast After the Bell Challenge page for tools and resources to help move breakfast after the bell, improve enrollment, and increase participation in the SBP:

Fuel Up to Play 60 funding opportunities are available to support equipment costs associated with starting or expanding your school breakfast program. Visit our funding page for a rolling list of grants specifically focused on breakfast. 

Customized technical assistance from Hunger Free Vermont and the School Nutrition Association of Vermont is available to help you determine the best form of breakfast after the bell for your school, and to put you in touch with similar schools that have had breakfast after the bell success.  

To get started contact Ginger Farineau at (802) 865-0255, or