The Eugene 4J School District voted Wednesday night to universally offer free school breakfasts in all of its elementary schools.
Parents will no longer have to fill out paperwork for their children to qualify for free or reduced price breakfasts at all 20 of 4J’s elementary schools. District spokeswoman Kerry Delf says offering a free morning meal to all students will encourage more of them to eat breakfast.
“School meals are a great way for students to get the nutrition that they need, but certainly when most students who are eating school meals are students who qualify for free or reduced price school lunch, that has some implications,” says Delf. “Certainly one of the benefits of this is if everybody eats free, there’s no stigma associated with eating free breakfast.”
The food items include healthy options like oatmeal, fruit and whole grain pancakes. Free breakfasts are important for students to get the nutrition they need for a full day of learning, and aren’t expected to be a large cost for the district. For now, students will still have to apply for free lunches at most schools.