School Breakfast Program

The School Breakfast Program is a federally-funded meal program that provides reimbursement to states to operate breakfast programs in schools and residential childcare institutions. Thanks to Maine’s School Meals for All law, school breakfasts are free for all students.

Breakfast After the Bell

Breakfast After the Bell (BAB) is a best practice that offers breakfast after the start of the school day and in convenient locations. School breakfast has traditionally been served in cafeterias before school officially starts, which can make these meals stigmatized and harder to access. By making breakfast a normal part of the school day, BAB programs improve breakfast participation and ensure all kids are nourished and ready to learn. There are many different ways to operate BAB programs to make school breakfasts more accessible and appealing to your students:

  • Breakfast in the Classroom: Breakfast is brought to students in their classrooms after the official start of the school day.
  • Grab and Go: Students pick up pre-packaged breakfast in convenient and high-traffic areas on their way to class.
  • Second Chance Breakfast: Breakfast is offered both before the start of the school day and then again later in the morning.

Download our Breakfast After the Bell Toolkit to learn more about this program and get materials to share with folks in your school community. The toolkit includes quick facts, testimonials, and resources for:

Legislation: Maine schools in which at least 50% of students qualified for a free or reduced-price lunch during the preceding school year are required to operate a BAB program that provides breakfast after the start of the school day. Read more.

Offer Versus Serve (OVS)

Learn about the OVS policy requirements for breakfast and help students in building a reimbursable meal.

Social Media Graphics

Use the images below to promote your breakfast program, or simply share a photo or fun fact about your program. Check out these tips for using social media!

Tip: Right-click an image and select “Save image as…” to save to your computer. On mobile, tap and hold the image and then “Save to Photos”

Breakfast Carts in Action

Colorful breakfast cart with fruit and cereal

“The breakfast cart we purchased through the Full Plates grant has greatly impacted our school breakfast program at Wells Elementary School.  Our breakfast participation has doubled in only 3 months and the students love it!”

Christian Pasternak, School Nutrition Director, Wells-Ogunquit Consolidated School District

“Everyone loved this program – students, custodians, teachers, the principal. They were all great supporters of the breakfast cart.”

Lynnette Harriman, former MSAD 60 School Nutrition Director

Read more about the evolution of MSAD 60’s breakfast program

Additional Resources

For more information, reach out to our Child Nutrition Consultants: