Nebraska Appleseed’s School Nutrition Equity Cohort shows amazing results!

“This cohort has made me more aware of the audience we feed.”
 – Mary Carman, Gering Public Schools Food and Nutrition Services Director

“I have learned that equity matters and we need to work hard to make everything available to every student.” 
– Gail Beyer, Bridgeport Public Schools Administrative Assistant

Nebraska’s school nutrition programs continue improving food access for kids across the state! Throughout 2021, Nebraska’s schools made great strides in strengthening school nutrition equity despite a variety of hurdles posed by staffing shortages, supply chain disruptions, and changing pandemic conditions. Here’s what we’re celebrating: 

Fifteen schools across Western Nebraska participated in an equity cohort where they shared their experiences and learned from state and local best practices to improve their school nutrition programs. Over nine months, the group met four times to learn about equity, look at their district’s practices and data, and plan for making their nutrition programs more equitable. Additional funding and this training resulted in a number of strides forward:

  • Crawford Public Schools has committed to a new grab-and-go breakfast and lunch option for students, allowing middle and high school students to grab meals from the elementary school and get more kids starting their days with the energy they need to succeed.
  • Kimball Public Schools and Alliance Public Schools are creating assistance funds to cover costs of second helpings and a la carte items for hungry kids who can’t afford them.
  • Bayard Public Schools and Sidney Public Schools are planning recurring community luncheons and coffees where parents, students, and community members come together to solve problems and strengthen the community together.
  • Bridgeport Public Schools is extending one of their passing periods to give students a second chance to get breakfast once they’ve already arrived at school for the day.

Through peer-to-peer learning, schools learned about success stories from neighboring districts and took tangible steps to bring that knowledge back to their communities!

The fifteen districts across Western Nebraska include Alliance, Bayard, Bridgeport, Chadron, Crawford, Garden County, Gering, Hay Springs, Hyannis, Kimball, Leyton, Mitchell, Morrill, Scottsbluff, Sidney. This work is funded by the Albertsons/Safeway Foundation and included participants from Safeway communities and the cohort was hosted in partnership with the Panhandle Public Health Department

School Nutrition Meeting

We couldn’t be prouder of the work being done in our state. These innovations represent huge strides toward a hunger-free Nebraska and more equitable meal programs in our districts. Visit our School Nutrition Equity Page to see how your school district stacks up and learn more about some of our favorite best practices to implement throughout the state!

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