Earle Brown Elementary receives ‘Super School Breakfast’ grant

The Legacy Fund, General Mills, the Midwest Dairy Association and other partners pose with Earle Brown first-graders to celebrate its award of $10,000 for the “Super School Breakfast” grant. (Sun Post staff photo by Christiaan Tarbox)

As the march to Super Bowl LII ramps up, a Brooklyn Center elementary school was a recipient of a grant to help encourage eating healthy breakfasts and staying physically active.

On May 10, Earle Brown Elementary was named the latest school to receive a $10,000 “Super School Breakfast” grant from the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee Legacy Fund, with the goal of implementing the “Breakfast in the Classroom” program from Fuel Up To Play 60, an in-school nutrition and activity program cosponsored by the National Dairy Council and the National Football League.

The host committee’s campaign revolves around one Minnesota school receiving a grant a week for a year, with 52 schools benefiting from grant money meant to purchase equipment and infrastructure necessary to build an “enhanced breakfast” program for students. Alongside members of the Host Committee Legacy Fund, employees from General Mills greeted 500 students the morning of May 10 to hand out breakfast backpacks in the cafeteria.

“We have this amazing opportunity with the Super Bowl coming (to Minneapolis) in February 2018,” said Host Committee Legacy Community Partnerships Manager Julia Davis. “We’re going to be on this world stage, and why not take advantage of this opportunity to promote health and wellness for kids?”

The host committee is also working with the Midwest Dairy Association to help encourage healthy eating habits with students.

“They provide them with sheets of equipment, and they’re working with schools to decide what equipment is best for their school,” said Davis. “It’s not a one-fit-all type model. We’re going to the schools, we’re offering the grant, but we’re also listening to them to figure out what they need and how they can implement the school breakfast.”

Per the Food Research & Action Council, more than 140,000 Minnesotan students who are eligible for free-and-reduced school meals take advantage of lunches, but less so with breakfast. Minnesota is also reportedly ranking 43rd out of all 50 states in offering breakfasts in schools.

“There’s been countless studies and articles that have come out talking about the morbidity and mortality rate for the next generation of kids,” said Davis. “It’s not good. Their outlook is actually poorer than their parents’. How can we play a role in supporting the amazing work that the state of Minnesota is doing … to promote health and wellness?”

According to Brooklyn Center School District Superintendent Mark Bonine, the $10,000 grant will be used to purchase equipment for serving breakfast both in the cafeteria and in the classroom. Bonine said that Earle Brown was informed of the grant earlier this year.

“We’re thrilled with the Super Bowl Committee. We’re very appreciative of General Mills, who’s always been supportive of education both locally and statewide,” said Bonine. “The event today is really about students starting with a healthy breakfast, having a healthy lunch, and then physical activity.”

Contact Christiaan Tarbox at [email protected]