Governor Tom Wolf’s School Breakfast Initiative is providing 151 schools, including three in this region, with grants up to $5,000 to help more children start their day with a healthy meal. The $592,000 investment marks the second year of grants that make school breakfast available to all students and expand food options for children.

“A healthy breakfast helps students begin the school day ready to learn and succeed,” said Governor Wolf. “By investing in school breakfasts, we are investing in the lives of children. When kids start their day with good nutrition, they’re ready to learn and grow up healthier and stronger.”

Local grant recipients include: Austin Elementary School, $4,772.60; Coudersport Elementary School, $4,161.62; and Port Allegany Junior-Senior High School, $4,789.51.

Governor Wolf launched the School Breakfast Initiative two years ago. Schools use grants up to $5,000 to implement a breakfast program using an “alternative serving method,” like grab-and-go, or breakfast in the classroom. Schools can also expand an existing program to include an alternative serving method. Breakfast must be made available to all students in a school.

“Students are more focused and in a better position to learn when they start their days with a healthy, nutritious meal,” said Secretary of Education Pedro A. Rivera. “However, we know that only 50 percent of the students who receive a free or reduced lunch also receive breakfast. The mini-grants enable schools to address food security issues and help more students by either starting a new breakfast program or by improving an existing one.”

More than 3,000 Pennsylvania schools report that they offer breakfast. However, fewer than half of those schools offer alternative serving methods.