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'Second chance' breakfast proves popular

With the New Year, Henderson County Public Schools expanded its Universal Breakfast programming to three secondary schools, and is offering "Second Chance Breakfast" opportunities at no cost to students at Apple Valley Middle, North Henderson High, and East Henderson High. 


Universal Breakfast means breakfast is available in the cafeteria for any and all students, free of charge, before school begins.

For the past decade, the HCPS Child Nutrition Department has prepared universal breakfast at 7 elementary schools (Bruce Drysdale, Clear Creek, Dana, Edneyville, Hillandale, Sugarloaf and Upward) that serve a high population of students qualifying for Free & Reduced meals. On Jan. 6 following winter break, the Universal Breakfast program expanded to Apple Valley, North, and East, and these three schools will include “Second Chance Breakfasts” as part of their free meal options.

This will give students a second opportunity to grab breakfast after their first period class, in case they missed breakfast in the morning before school. Students will be able to pick up grab-and-go breakfasts from carts that are placed strategically in the hallways to serve as many students as possible in each school. Apple Valley rolled out the "Second Chance Breakfast" cart service on Wednesday, North Henderson High starts today, and East will begin Monday, Jan. 27.

HCPS Child Nutrition Director said the first day of the breakfast cart implementation at Apple Valley on Wednesday was an “instant success,” having served 206 breakfasts off three carts – in record time. “Within 10 minutes, the carts were emptied,” said Peggy Marshall, principal of Apple Valley Middle. “It was definitely a hit.”

“Second Chance Breakfast” is being piloted as part of the Universal Breakfast programs new to these secondary schools that serve a high population of students qualifying for Free & Reduced meals, in an effort to provide a solid foundation for learning – in an environment that reduces the social stigma of food insecurity. However, the “Second Chance Breakfast” initiative isn’t limited to schools with a Universal Breakfast program, and other HCPS schools offer the grab-and-go options as part of their regular meal payment programs.

“Our goal is to ensure that all students have the opportunity to eat breakfast – as I believe students are able to study, retain information, and perform at a higher level when they are not hungry,” said Superintendent Bo Caldwell. “By making these grab-and-go meals available in between classes, students can eat on their own terms and reduce the food insecurity for some students.”