Mariner Middle School to expand breakfast program
Mariner Middle School is planning to expand its new breakfast program after receiving a grant from The Dairy Council of Florida.
Three Lee County schools received “Bucks for Breakfast” grants designed to promote students eating healthy breakfasts. Mariner received $6,600 while two other schools, Oak Hammock Middle and Veterans Park Academy for Arts, received $2,600 and $6,400, respectively.
According to district officials, the three local schools were among 34 that were awarded a grant this month. The council received a total of 101 grant applications from across the state.
Mariner Principal Richard Hagy said the school started its breakfast program this year and the grant money will likely be used to expand their service.
“We are already serving kids a healthy breakfast in the morning,” he said. “We will use the money to expand the existing program.”
One idea is to have a staff member with a food cart meet students with breakfast as they get off the bus, because some arrive late in the morning.
“Some of the kids who get off the bus don’t have time for breakfast because they have to be in class,” said Hagy. “We are looking at taking a food cart to the bus ramp and providing a meal or some kind of snack to eat on the way to their first period class.”
Between students who buy their own breakfast and others who qualify for free or reduced lunch, Mariner Middle is serving approximately 300 students every day, said Hagy.
He said the school’s breakfast program has been running smoothly in its first year and it is popular with the students.