“Grab and go” meal program aims to boost breakfast consumption

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Beginning on February 24, Townsend Harris High School launched a new program for a “grab and go” breakfast in the lobby and breakfast in first band classes. 

Breakfast is now offered in classrooms during band two on Mondays and band one Tuesday through Friday. So far, this program has only been piloted to three classes: Mr. Dunbar’s class, Mr. Choudhury’s class, and Dr. Brewer’s class. 

Assistant Principal of Organization Ellen Fee said, “Those programs have actually been around for more than 10 years, but they have never been utilized in Townsend Harris, so this is the first time that we are trying it.” 

According to Mrs. Fee, the school food manager, Cherice Frequire, “has been noticing that the number of kids who are eating breakfast and eating lunch has gone down from last year…she started brain- storming ideas and one of her brainstorms was to have a grab and go in the lobby and then to offer breakfast service to a classroom.” Ms. Fee explained that by introducing this program to the students the school hopes to “maximize the number of students that are eating breakfast.” ” 

Mathematics teacher Abid Choudhury believes that this new program will benefit many students. “I know a lot of my students likely don’t eat breakfast in the morning because they are rushing to school. I’ve been there. I used to rush to school without eating breakfast sometimes,” he commented. “I also know that I can’t function like a normal human being when I don’t eat breakfast, so if my students are anything like me, it would be only right if they could function normally having eaten breakfast first.” 

Mrs. Choudhury also commented that this program helps in “raising awareness about school breakfast being present, so that option is always there…[and] it shows that breakfast is a priority, it is important, it does get your engine moving in the morning.”

Sophomore Chloe Munoz said that she “enjoys having the option for breakfast because it’s helpful to a lot of students who may not have had time to eat at home.” This new system of “having breakfast as an option in my first class really helps [me] because it’s one less thing I need to worry about in the morning” especially since Chloe has zero band classes every morning.  

Sophomore Darren Leong said, “I usually don’t come early enough to school for me to go down to the cafeteria to eat breakfast. With the opportunity to eat it in our first band class, it gives me a better start to the day.”

Several other students also said that having breakfast in their first class would not only improve their health, but also their performance at school. Sophomore Pratima Singh said, “I don’t eat breakfast at home because I need to rush and I usually feel nauseous around that time so I think it’s beneficial for my wellbeing throughout the day.” Sophomore Crystal Lin also added that “having breakfast gives me a bit more energy and makes me functional for the rest of the day.”

Although having breakfast during first band is limited to only a few classes, Ms. Fee concluded, “We will probably expand the program in the classrooms to [whichever] teachers would like to have it.”