Breakfast Cafe Pilot Program2019-03-19T11:19:34-04:00

School Nutrition Services

Program Mission: To provide healthy meals, nutrition education, and wellness initiatives in support of teaching and learning.

School Nutrition partners with Atlanta Community Food Bank

five students look at food on counter

A group of students gathers around a section of the cafeteria. Chatter and low-volume conversations can be heard as students sip hot or iced coffee, munch on breakfast sandwiches, enjoy yogurt parfaits, and get ready to learn.

This is not a college campus or city center plaza. This is a pilot program set to take place at five DeKalb County School District (DCSD) high schools, including Columbia, Lithonia, Southwest DeKalb, Stephenson, and Stone Mountain after Spring Break 2019.

With the new program, students and staff will be able to enjoy an extended breakfast menu with items not normally offered at a traditional high school, including flavored hot or iced coffee, juice, fresh fruit, yogurt parfaits, healthy breakfast sandwiches, scones, and more. The service will work in conjunction with normally scheduled breakfast times to promote cafeteria services to students.

According to School Nutrition Services Executive Director, Dr. Connie Walker, the new program is a partnership between DCSD and the Atlanta Community Food Bank designed to encourage students to eat breakfast on campus.

“This is all to support student participation at school,” said Dr. Walker. “Breakfast is the first, most important meal of the day, but many high school students choose to skip it or get the same items somewhere else. We want them to take advantage of the services we have, show up early to school, and attend class more. We’re willing to meet them by any means necessary.”

Dr. Walker hopes to extend the program across the district if the pilot program proves to be successful. She is in scheduled talks with the Atlanta Community Food Bank, who has provided $2,500 per site for equipment costs.

DCSD and Atlanta Community Food Bank

In late February, Stephenson High School students and staff obtained a first look at the program as part of a surveyed taste test. A similar taste test took place at the Robert R. Freeman Administration & Instructional Complex.

After enjoying their respective food and beverages, attendees completed questionnaires and provided suggestions on how to perfect the program. More than 135 students and staff provided input.

Menu items were decided upon and facilitated by District Chef and Cafeteria Manager Trainer Samantha Sixto-Rumley. She was pleased to see students enjoy every item and cannot wait to extend the program to other schools.

“It went well—we expected a smaller group, but it was exciting to see how ecstatic the students and staff were,” Sixto-Rumley said. “We took away some great information about how to move forward, how to keep the flow, how to maximize staff time, and how to work with the space available at Stephenson. We’ve heard back that teachers are very much looking forward to it!”

Like Dr. Walker, Chef Sixto-Rumley hopes the extended services at each high school result in greater breakfast participation, which can eventually dovetail into greater attendance at school overall.

“We are maximizing the palate of each student,” Chef Sixto-Rumley said. “We want students coming into the building earlier, as they’re more likely to go to class afterward. That’s why School Nutrition Services is here: we’re providing a product to get them here in the building, provide healthy goods, and get students to class. We’re giving them the brain power required and supporting teaching and learning.”

View pictures from the event

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:(1)       mail: U.S. Department of AgricultureOffice of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;(2)       fax: (202) 690-7442; or(3)       email: program.intake@usda.gov.This institution is an equal opportunity provider.
Los demás programas de asistencia nutricional del FNS, las agencias estatales y locales, y susbeneficiarios secundarios, deben publicar el siguiente Aviso de No Discriminación:De conformidad con la Ley Federal de Derechos Civiles y los reglamentos y políticas de derechos civiles del Departamento de Agricultura de los EE. UU. (USDA, por sus siglas en inglés), se prohíbe que el USDA, sus agencias, oficinas, empleados e instituciones que participan o administran programas del USDA discriminen sobre la base de raza, color, nacionalidad, sexo, discapacidad, edad, o en represalia o venganza por actividades previas de derechos civiles en algún programa o actividad realizados o financiados por el USDA.Las personas con discapacidades que necesiten medios alternativos para la comunicación de la información del programa (por ejemplo, sistema Braille, letras grandes, cintas de audio, lenguaje de señas americano, etc.), deben ponerse en contacto con la agencia (estatal o local) en la que solicitaron los beneficios. Las personas sordas, con dificultades de audición o discapacidades del habla pueden comunicarse con el USDA por medio del Federal Relay Service [Servicio Federal de Retransmisión] al (800) 877‐8339. Además, la información del programa se puede proporcionar en otros idiomas.Para presentar una denuncia de discriminación, complete el Formulario de Denuncia de Discriminación del Programa del USDA, (AD‐3027) que está disponible en línea en: http://www.ocio.usda.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2012/Spanish_Form_508_Compliant_6_8_12_ 0.pdf. y en cualquier oficina del USDA, o bien escriba una carta dirigida al USDA e incluya en la carta toda la información solicitada en el formulario. Para solicitar una copia del formulario de denuncia, llame al (866) 632‐9992. Haga llegar su formulario lleno o carta al USDA por:(1)  correo: U.S. Department of AgricultureOffice of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights1400 Independence Avenue, SW Washington, D.C. 20250‐9410;(2)  fax: (202) 690‐7442; o(3) correo electrónico: program.intake@usda.gov.Esta institución es un proveedor que ofrece igualdad de oportunidades.