Clark-Shawnee Local School District received recognition for the 2021-2022 Breakfast & Beyond Program from the Ohio School Breakfast Challenge. Clark-Shawnee was recognized for their resiliency and collaboration in the important work of feeding students. Districts who received this award provided an excellent, innovative, and collaborative approach to maximize student participation and access to the school meal programs.
“We have learned a lot about being flexible - something we will carry forward,” said Alexis Staffan, Food Services Director. “The pandemic brought many challenges that were crippling in the beginning. In reality, it forced us to grow and evolve in unexpected ways and has taught us valuable lessons. Now we are capable of meeting any challenge we face”.
This year, Clark Shawnee experienced record-high participation in the school’s breakfast and lunch programs. In October of 2021, staff served more than 3,500 additional meals than they served pre-pandemic, in October 2019. Districtwide, 38% of the student body participates in the breakfast program and 51% participates in the lunch program.
At the start of the 2021-2022 school year, Clark-Shawnee combined three elementary schools into one new building. The district also experienced supply chain issues, student schedule changes, and staff shortages throughout the year. But, together, the district worked to ensure each student was fed. Food service staff prepared and served meals each day. District and building administrators subbed in the kitchens when staff shortages would have caused the district to shut down. Teachers encouraged breakfast and lunch participation. Support staff stepped in to help deliver food directly to student pods.
“Our collaborative efforts with the building level staff and administration have been hugely successful and show that bringing our minds together brings out the best in our programs,” said Staffan. ”As we move forward, we will continue to work with district and building administration, staff, and teachers, along with our parent organizations, to build our network of support and continue bringing new and fun strategies to our breakfast and lunch programs.”
Clark-Shawnee received a “Super Star” electronic medallion to place on their school website, menus, and other community focused communications. The medallion signifies their distinguished work in serving meals for Breakfast & Beyond. Schools achieving this honor were recognized by the Ohio School Breakfast Challenge partners, Ohio education associations and their membership, and other education, health and child focused organizations.
The Ohio School Breakfast Challenge’s mission is to increase access and participation in the School Breakfast & School Meal Programs, ensuring Ohio students start each day ready to learn.
For more information about the Ohio School Breakfast Challenge, visit OhioSchoolBreakfastChallenge.com.