Every three years in Minnesota, each school district's food service department will receive an "administrative review" performed by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE). The objective of this review is to determine whether the school's food service program meets program requirements. MDE will also provide technical assistance and training, secure any needed corrective action and conduct claims adjustments, if applicable. The Pequot Lakes School District review was completed May 9 and 10, and I am proud to say we received an above average rating!
Students in the Pequot Lakes School District have been receiving breakfast for free on school days since Dec. 1, 2014. The goal of this project is to get kids the breakfast they need to help improve the total learning environment. After five months of free breakfast, the results show an average of 5,000 more breakfasts are served every month. We started the school year with about 7,000 breakfasts served every month and we have increased to 12,000. This number has increased every month, and I anticipate it will continue to grow.
As you recall, last school year in March and April the Pequot Lakes School District ran a two-month trial in which we offered every currently enrolled student a free breakfast. The two-month trial was extremely successful and we learned that offering a free breakfast to every student is a program the food service department can sustain. Effective Dec.
March 3-7 is National School Breakfast Week. The Pequot Lakes School District is taking this one step further and will celebrate for a full two months. Pequot Lakes School District will offer all children enrolled in the district free breakfast every day that school is in session in March and April. Studies conclude that students who eat breakfast show a general increase in math and reading scores as well as improvements in their speed and memory in cognitive tests, and generally perform better on standardized tests than those who skip breakfast.
Food allergies or food intolerances affect nearly everyone at some point in their lives. People often have an unpleasant reaction to something they ate and wonder if they have a food allergy. It is stated that only about 5 percent of children have a clinically proven allergic reaction to food. In teens and adults, clinically proven food allergies occur in about 4 percent of the population. The difference between the clinically proven prevalence of a food allergy and the public perception of the problem is in part due to reactions called “food intolerances” rather than food allergies.
How’s it going? This is a question I have been asked dozens of times from parents, teachers or just interested community members. They are asking me how the students are adjusting to the dietary changes the state set forth this year. For those of you who need a refresher course, here is the short story. In January 2012, at the direction of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act passed by Congress, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published a final rule to promote the health of America’s school children.