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Oklahoma schools kick-starting new breakfast program

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OKLAHOMA – Officials with the Oklahoma Education Association are making Oklahoma schools aware of a grant for a new breakfast program.

Right now, if Oklahoma students want to eat breakfast at school, they have to either pay or qualify for the free and reduced lunch program.

“There are some schools that have breakfast within the school day and have breakfast. There are some schools that have breakfast before the school day starts,” said Alicia Priest, president of the Oklahoma Education Association.

However, soon, Oklahoma schools will be kick-starting a new breakfast program.

“Oklahoma was chosen to be part of the breakfast in the classroom grant program,” Priest said.

Priest said the grant, which is through NEA Healthy Futures, would allow for all students in the schools chosen to eat a free, healthy breakfast right in their classroom every morning.

“As applications come in, they're chosen on a rolling basis, and they look at the percentage of free and reduced lunch students and how many students are actually using the breakfast program,” Priest said.

This school year, Priest said about 62 percent of Oklahoma students qualified for the free and reduced program.

“It's grown every year with food insecurity. Some kids honestly have breakfast and lunch at school, and then they don't eat again until breakfast the next morning,” Priest said.

OEA officials want to encourage schools all over the state to apply for the grant, because it’s just one more way to ensure kids start their day off right.

“If you can, imagine a child trying to focus on school when their belly is rumbling because they haven't had anything to eat. There are all kinds of issues that that causes. We want our children to be able to focus on school,” Priest said.

If you would like to apply for the grant for your school, click here.