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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
February 18, 2022

Dear County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and School Principals:

National School Breakfast Week: March 7–11, 2022

The California Department of Education (CDE) encourages all California schools to participate in National School Breakfast Week (NSBW) March 7–11, 2022! This year’s theme is Take Off with School Breakfast. NSBW is an excellent time to celebrate how your school’s breakfast program supports a successful launch into learning.

In these uncertain times, breakfast is more important than ever as it is the foundation for student physical and emotional well-being. Studies have shown that students whose nutritional needs are met have fewer attendance issues and discipline problems and enhanced abilities to learn and achieve. There are many reasons children do not have the opportunity to eat breakfast at home: early rising, busy or hectic weekday mornings, long bus rides, working parents, the inability of families to provide nutritious food, and food insecurity. That is why we are excited that starting next school year, California is the first state in the nation to prioritize child nutrition and educational success by investing in universal meals to ensure that all students, regardless of their eligibility, have access to a breakfast and lunch at no charge each school day.

NSBW is an excellent opportunity to celebrate and market your school’s breakfast service. Some celebration ideas include:

  • Conducting a week’s trial of Breakfast after the Bell
  • Featuring a special menu item
  • Selecting themes for dress-up during breakfast service
  • Playing games
  • Hosting spirit mornings
  • Providing taste testing
  • Branding your lunch program
  • Displaying student art related to nutrition

NSBW is also a great opportunity to celebrate the food service staff who nourish students with the meals they serve and the role they play in connecting with and supporting students. As we work together to transform California’s schools, school food service staff should be recognized as an integral part of the school community:

  • Staff and students can write thank-you cards and decorate meal service areas.
  • Morning announcements can acknowledge school food service staff.
  • Emails to families can promote the breakfast meal service and feature school food service staff who have worked throughout the pandemic to ensure seamless meal service.

If your school is interested in expanding your breakfast program, the CDE is here to help and can provide you with additional technical assistance, resources, and information on proven practices. Some examples include Breakfast in the Classroom, Breakfast on the Bus, Breakfast after the Bell, and Breakfast during Break. For more information on the School Breakfast Program, visit the CDE School Breakfast Program web page at

In closing, I extend my most sincere gratitude to food service and school staff statewide for all that you give to our students.


Tony Thurmond
State Superintendent of Public Instruction

Last Reviewed: Friday, February 18, 2022

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