CAHOKIA, Ill. – Tuesday the Cahokia School District received a $30,000 grant from Monsanto to fund nutritional support for students in the district.
The funding will go to the ‘Breakfast Beyond the Bell’ program which aims to provide additional breakfast foods for a 1,000 student. The St. Louis Area Food Bank will be charged with providing food items such as apple, bananas, fig bars and etc. for students to eat during the first couple of hours of school in classrooms twice a week.
According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report in 2015, students coming to school hungry and eating breakfast at school improves academic achievement, attendance and lessens behavioral problems.
Currently, the pilot program will only be available to 200 students at Estelle Sauget Elementary School and 800 students at Cahokia High School. Elementary students will be allowed to get food items from a designated area and take the food back to their classroom to eat, while high school students will get food items from carts placed in high traffic area during the first two hours of school.
The ‘Breakfast Beyond the Bell’ initiative will be a supplement to the federally funded free or reduced breakfast program.
The district hopes to expand the program to all schools and students after 2019.