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PWMS now offers free breakfast

The Perham-Dent School Board approved an expansion of the universal free breakfast program for students attending Prairie Wind Middle School.

Food Director Laura Bjerke addressed the school board last week, explaining a survey that two-thirds of middle school students participated in. Of those surveyed, 40.3 percent said they never or rarely ate breakfast, neither at home or at school. And 54 percent said they would eat breakfast if it were free.

Bjerke said, "Kids who eat breakfast do better in school. Its just the way it is."

The program's cost to the school is minimal, according to Bjerke. While it will vary depending on how many students take advantage of the program, a high estimate would be $4,500. However, it's expected to come in much lower than that.

Free breakfast is currently offered at Heart of the Lakes Elementary School, and the district "breaks even," Superintendent Mitch Anderson said.

Any cost would be deducted from revenue in the food service budget, which can only be spent on food services.