Mornings just got a little easier for students and parents across the Van Buren School District.

VBSD launched its new free breakfast program at all schools last week. The initiative allows every student the opportunity to enjoy a nutritious breakfast before class at no cost.

Child Nutrition Director Roy Kendrick said the decision to offer free breakfast was made to help ensure student success.

“Studies show that children who eat breakfast perform better in the classroom than those coming on an empty stomach,” Hendrick said. “This is something that we could do to make sure students start their day off right and help enhance learning in the classroom.”

Upon arrival, students can visit the cafeteria to receive a breakfast tray. The menu changes daily and is provided to families in advance and on the district website. As with lunch, schools are required to meet state nutritional guidelines for the morning meal.

Kendrick said VBSD has long-offered breakfast at each campus, but students not qualifying for free or reduced meals have previously been required to pay.

Thanks to the district’s new food truck, he said all students can now dine before school, at no cost.

“Child Nutrition is paying for this great accomplishment,” Kendrick said. “We have a new food truck that will be serving at different schools this year. Our hope is that as participation increases, it will help provide additional funding to pay for this program.”

The truck also will offer catering and will serve at various community functions, with proceeds benefiting VBSD’s free breakfast initiative.

Kendrick said he believes the program is another way to provide a positive educational experience for students.

"We are just excited about being able to offer this service to our kids and our community,” he said. “Van Buren is dedicated to helping our students any way that we can. We have many other exciting projects and programs in the works and look forward to all that 2018-19 will bring to VBSD.”

For more information about breakfast times, parents can contact their child’s school. Breakfast and lunch menus are available online at vbsd.us/menu.