Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association Announces Breakfast Brigade Winners

PHILADELPHIA (November 20, 2008) – Two Pennsylvania schools recently earned Expanding Breakfast Awards for their innovative breakfast service. Ben Franklin Elementary School in Harrisburg earned the first place Expanding Breakfast Award and a $5,000 grant and Homer-Center High School in Homer City received the second place Pennsylvania Expanding Breakfast Award and a $3,000 grant.

The awards program, funded by Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association and local dairy farmers, calls attention to the importance of alternative school breakfast options. Offering breakfast outside of the cafeteria increases participation by providing service for students who arrive late or who prefer to socialize rather than eat. It also helps to remove the potential social stigma that the program is meant for low-income students.

David LloydBen Franklin Award

Ben Franklin: In recognition of their efforts to provide a nutritious breakfast in the classroom to students at Ben Franklin Elementary in Harrisburg School District, Carolyn Weaver of Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association (left) presents the first place Expanding Breakfast Award and $5,000 grant to David Lloyd, foodservice director, and Principal Rose Sampson.

“Nearly 70 percent of the students at Ben Franklin Elementary participate in our Breakfast in the Classroom program,” said David Lloyd, director of food services for Harrisburg School District. “Teachers are finding students are more attentive, better behaved and more ready to learn.”


Susan McLoughlinHomer Center

Homer-Center: Betty Brdar from Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association (far left) presents a $3,000 grant for the second place Expanding Breakfast Award to (from left) Homer-Center High School’s foodservice employees Sharon Bell and Ann Mock, and Foodservice Director Susan McLoughlin, MS, RD, LDN. The team provides a nutritious “Breakfast After First Period” to 82 percent of students.

Eighty-two percent of students participate in the universal free Breakfast After First Period program that Foodservice Director Susan McLoughlin, MS, RD, LDN, started at Homer-Center High School several years ago. “The key to our success was building breakfast into the students’ daily schedules, so breakfast doesn’t have to compete with extracurricular activities or socializing,” McLoughlin said. “We went from serving breakfast to 35 to 50 students a day to feeding 350 students. Our attendance has increased, tardiness is down and so are trips to the nurse.”



loyd and McLoughlin are members of the Pennsylvania Breakfast Brigade, which provides support and training for districts committed to school breakfast. Absenteeism and tardiness have decreased, while meal participation, test scores and student behavior have improved. Both directors involved students, parents, teachers, administrators and medical professionals in planning and implementing the alternative breakfast programs. 

“The benefits children receive from eating a nutritious breakfast are numerous and well-documented,” said Janette Carpentier, vice president of school marketing for Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association. “Eating breakfast yields better student test scores, increases concentration and attendance, decreases disciplinary problems, and more."

Schools across Pennsylvania that offer a non-traditional breakfast program were eligible to enter the contest. The applications were reviewed by a panel of judges from Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association and the National Dairy Council®.

Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association, an affiliate of the National Dairy Council, provides nutrition education programs and services to schools in the Mid-Atlantic region. For more information, visit www.dairyspot.com.

Web Sites:
Pennsylvania Breakfast Brigade

Expanding Breakfast
Harrisburg School District http://www.hbgsd.k12.pa.us/hbgsd/site/default.asp

Homer-Center School District

For more information, contact: Laura England, 267-322-6904; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Jessica Pomraning, 267-322-6917; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.