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Two Abbey schools win Breakfast After the Bell Challenge!

Molly Stark School and Pownal Elementary have both won the first round of the Vermont Breakfast After the Bell Challenge!

Thanks to a combined effort lead by the Abbey Group Director Maureen O’Neil and Assistant Director Stephanie Gates.

With the introduction of universal breakfast in the classroom at these schools, breakfast participation increased 132% at Molly Stark and 171% at Pownal – with about 85% of students eating breakfast on an average day at these schools.

Each school will receive  a “Breakfast After the Bell Champion” banner thanks to the New England Dairy and Food Council and will host their own banner raising ceremony.

Pownal school was also accepted as the Challenge Champion school, for having the combined highest participation increase and highest percentage of students eating of all of the 11 schools that entered round 1 of the Challenge.

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Colebrook Academy Recognized as Top Achiever for School Breakfast Challenge

Colebrook Academy Recognized as Top Achiever for School Breakfast Challenge

 Colebrook Academy was recently recognized as a top achieving small high school of the fourth quarter, by New Hampshire Kids Count, increasing school breakfast participation among all students by 713.3% and among free and reduced price students by 409.9% between October 2013 and October 2015.

For the last two years, the New Hampshire Department of Education has been running a promotion in all public schools in an attempt to increase breakfast participation. The goal is to get schools to increase their participation by 25%, with recognition going to each school that reaches the goal.

This achievement has been possible due to the strong effort and determination of The Abbey Food Service Director Steve Learned and Colebrook Academy Principal Mark Fiorentino, who have been working closely with Site Supervisor Steven Davis and assistant Debra Thompson to make the increase possible.

“We tried many new menu items to increase breakfast sales” says Steve Learned.  “But after talking with the students, it became apparent that many of them just aren’t ready to eat breakfast at 7:30 in the morning.  Offering breakfast at a later time was the key.”

Principal Mark Fiorentino says  “The idea of a Grab-N-Go breakfast seemed logical from the start, but it affects daily classrooms and teachers. We are fortunate to have such a flexible staff, that is willing to go above and beyond for our students. This program has worked well, but there has been growing pains over the past year.  Several times I have questioned its value and yet stayed the course through innovative inventions. I’m glad we did.”

The Abbey Group is an award winning food service management company whose mission is to feed children nutritious and delicious meals and build meaningful relationships with the communities that we serve. We succeed in our efforts by maximizing student participation through innovative merchandising, high quality staff and menus that feature on trend items as well as home-style and traditional favorites.

New Hampshire Kids Count is dedicated to improving the lives of all children by advocating for public initiatives that make a real difference.  As the only independent multi-issue child advocacy organization in NH, we use comprehensive data to bring people together, raise questions, seek answers and make smart, long lasting changes for NH children. NH Kids Count and its coalition, NH Hunger Solutions, developed the New Hampshire Roadmap to End Childhood Hunger (PDF), a statewide plan to tackle the root causes of childhood hunger. Expanding the use of school breakfast is one step toward creating a New Hampshire where every child has three nutritious meals a day.

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The Abbey Group Makes the News! – Procuring Vermont Products for the People

The Abbey Group’s Executive Chef for the Capitol Food Court, Ray Wood, has been featured in the Department of Building and General Services Newsletter for extensive local purchases for The Vermont Capitol Building! You can read the whole article at the following link:  Buyer’s Buzz Article Vermont State House Local 2016

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