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Free breakfast program expanded to Andy High

Beginning next week, Andalusia High School students will have the option of grabbing a free breakfast on the way to class.

Shan Burkhardt, director of child nutrition for Andalusia City Schools, said the success of similar programs at Andalusia Elementary and Andalusia Junior High School prompted the expansion. Students from ninth through twelfth grade will have the option of a free breakfast starting Thurs., March 1.

“We have noticed that the program has improved attendance, decreased tardiness, decreased discipline problems, enhanced academic performance and improved test scores in the elementary school and junior high,” Burkhardt said.

Burkhardt has been trying to start this program ever since she was appointed as the child nutrition director.

The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Not all children eat at home and most children don’t focus well when they are hungry, so it is important to have this program for them,” Burkhardt said.

Students will be provided items such as yogurt, graham crackers, biscuits, poptarts, and prepackaged meals.

“A lot of this is going to be trial and error,” Burkhardt said. “I am hoping to get a lot of feedback from the students as to what they want to eat and what they don’t like.”

Breakfast will be served in the cafeteria on a grab and go type system and from 7:15 a.m. to 7:45 a.m.

“I believe this is a great service to have for students and parents both,” Burkhardt said. “I just hope they take advantage of it.”