During the month of October, Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) will offer all students free breakfast as a jump-start to their school day. Beginning Oct. 1 and ending Oct. 26, all CCPS students can take advantage of the breakfast program to start the day with a free healthy breakfast. Items include milk, cereal, juice and fruit with an additional option of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for high school students.

This is the third consecutive year that CCPS has celebrated the school breakfast program by providing free meals to students in October. The goal is to spread awareness of the benefits of eating breakfast and ensuring students have access to healthy meal choices.

“Our goal in offering free breakfast in October is to ensure each child has an opportunity to start the learning day off right with healthy fuel for their bodies and minds. It is our hope that breakfast is part of a child’s normal daily routine. Students have a hard time focusing when they are hungry. I am excited to be able to offer free breakfast as a model for healthy eating habits,” Superintendent of Schools Kimberly Hill said.

The CCPS school breakfast program has more than doubled since 2012. Since 2011, the system has seen an increase of nearly 1.1 million breakfasts served to students.  At the end of the 2011-2012 school year, breakfasts served totaled 947,994. At the end of the 2017-18 school year, 1.8 million breakfasts had been served.

CCPS staff attribute the increase to several factors including the expansion of breakfast offerings, opportunities for students to buy breakfast and the ability for some students to eat in the classroom. Several schools offer separate areas for students to buy breakfast, such as walk-up kiosks, or provide a second time for students to buy breakfast in the morning.

The free breakfast offering does not include a la carte items at the middle- or high-school levels. Additionally, offerings for students that attend Maryland Meals for Achievement (MMFA) schools will not change next month. This school year, CCPS has 14 schools that participate in the MMFA program, in which federal and state funding helps to provide free breakfast to students at those schools year round.

Menu options, including breakfast, lunch and a la carte choices, are posted on the CCPS website at http://ccboe.nutrislice.com/.

Last school year, CCPS food and nutrition services staff served more than 4.2 million breakfast and lunches to students.