Managers worried about poor breakfast record keeping

New food options are expected to be served in the mornings after Thanksgiving


Brenda Amaya-Rangel

Sophomore John Mejia enjoying breakfast in the classroom

Annie Ricotta, Opinions Editor, Graphics Editor

While the saying goes “There is no such thing as a free lunch,” the same could be said for the new Breakfast-in-the-Classroom program.

The program, which started at Akins this school year, is aimed at improving student access to nutritious breakfast foods to all students on campus. Breakfast items are provided to students every morning at the beginning of first and fifth period at no cost to student. However, that does not mean the food doesn’t cost anyone money.

Annalise Tanner, the school district’s Nutrition and Food Service Director, said the goal of serving breakfast was to give all students a chance to eat in the morning.

To achieve that goal the district has to be reimbursed by the Texas Department of Agriculture for the money spent on breakfast based on the accurate reporting done for each meal taken by a student.

“If we don’t receive a roster we don’t receive funding to cover the cost of the food and the cost of preparing the meal,” Tanner said.

Tanner said it’s critical for teachers to report accurate numbers so the campus can be reimbursed for the food it serves each day. Beyond the cost of the food, the expansion of the breakfast program is expensive, which necessitated the doubling of staff to prepare and distribute the meals to classrooms across campus every morning.

Tanner said accurate reporting also ensures that the district is able to improve the quality of the offerings provided each day. Currently, the entree items are set to change on Nov. 28, when a new cycle is scheduled to begin once students come back from Thanksgiving break. It will include items such as chicken and waffles, blueberry parfait, banana loaf, blueberry bagel and apple chia bar.

However, the future of the program is in doubt if the daily reporting by teachers does not improve.

The district gets funding from every meal served, but because the actual total of meals being served isn’t being recorded the district is losing money.

If the cafeteria managers do not get more accurate records, they are concerned the program will not continue.

To them the amount of loss of money might not be worth keeping breakfast served.

If Breakfast in the Classroom ended students would lose out on the ease of having breakfast readily available. Those who can’t eat breakfast at home’s only source of food in the morning is from Breakfast in the Classroom. Without it, student miss out on the nutrition they need in the morning.

The loss of Breakfast in the Classroom would hurt more than just students. Food service workers who only deal with breakfast could lose their jobs because there wouldn’t be any need for them anymore.

The daily reminders for teachers to complete their breakfast rosters are because the number of breakfasts being served are going significantly underreported, according to Roland Cortez, Akins Food Service manager. 1,700 meals are being served each day, but only about 1,100 were being reported by teachers in October.