District Offers Free Breakfast to All Students

By Sarah Govis

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In an effort to improve student learning, Niles West and Niles North are providing all students with a free breakfast before the first bell.

 “Our Board of Education decided that offering free breakfast to all students is a small investment that will yield a big return because all our students will be fortified and ready to learn,”  community relations director Jim Szczepaniak said.

In the previous years, students who qualified for free lunch (about 33% at West) also received free breakfast from Organic Life, District 219’s food service provider.  Now students who do not qualify for free lunch will also be able to receive free breakfast paid for by the district.

Students find the new free breakfast convenient and a great addition.

 “I think the new free breakfast is great because breakfast is important no matter who you are and it should be available to everyone,” said sophomore Merima Mackic.

The Student Athlete Special offers a bigger portion of food to everyone for an extra $1.25. Many students have asked for this new change because they feel the regular portions are small and unsatisfying for athletes who are physically active and burn off a lot of calories.

“Some of our most active students burn more calories, and they have a bigger appetite and can handle the calories. We want to accommodate them. The goal for all students is to encourage healthy eating in appropriate-size portions,” Szczepaniak said.

Volleyball player sophomore Miguel Arroyo agreed.

“I think the new portions are so helpful and needed during the sport seasons. Some people like me have third period lunch and the bigger portions will prevent me from getting hungry later on in the day,” Arroyo said.