Need food? Call our SNAP Hotline: 215-430-0556

Getting the Word Out: Outreach Activities for Schools

To encourage students to participate in the school breakfast program, all school districts should conduct outreach to children and families throughout the year.

Here's what school districts can do:  

  • Include information about school breakfast in the packet of materials that go to parents at the beginning of the school year
  • Feature easy-to-access information about school breakfast on the school website that highlights the fact that qualifying for free or reduced-price meals includes breakfast, not just lunch
  • Promote breakfast frequently in emails, robo-calls (automated voicemails), on school district radio/TV stations when available, social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter, and other communications with parents
  • Mail postcards to families to encourage them to participate
  • Conduct promotional activities (e.g. contests, celebrity appearances, special themes) that encourage students to participate
  • Enlist teachers and principals to encourage students to participate by providing information about the breakfast program and effective strategies to encourage students to participate (e.g. modeling good eating behaviors, scheduling before-school activities in the cafeteria during breakfast)
  • Provide school breakfast participation rates to principals, as they often are unaware of how few students participate in school breakfast
  • Inform teachers by having the School Breakfast Program as an in-services topic to make sure they know about the academic benefits to participation, barriers to participation, and ways that teachers can help encourage students to participate in breakfast
  • Form student nutrition committees to taste new items and promote the program among peers

Here's what school officals can do:

  • Provide administrative leadership and support to insure that every school in the district offers breakfast and that every student has the opportunity to eat
  • Develop and implement effective School Wellness Policies that include insuring that no child begins the school day hungry
  • Include school breakfast participation as a measure of success for each school building administrator
  • Seek input from Food Service Staff on the timing of breakfast and lunch to insure maximum participation
  • Engage in a rigorous outreach campaign each year to get meal applications from all potentially eligible families and to promote the healthfulness of school meals
  • Encourage students and their families to take advantage of the benefits of school meals through multiple communications throughout the school year