By Jessica Tuggle
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY -- Four schools in the Indian River County School District will once again provide free breakfast to all students this coming school year.
Fellsmere, Vero Beach, Highlands and Dodgertown elementary schools will all offer free breakfast to their entire student population in the 2013-14 school year.
"The district has been providing free breakfast for all students in these schools for more than two years, but a new federal mandate from the Department of Agriculture requires that the district announce the schools in the program," said Patrick McCarty, director of food and nutrition services.
"Those four schools were chosen as a result of their overwhelming majority of students on the free and reduced lunch program," Mr. McCarty said.
The school food programs are all produced by the Department of Agriculture and require the school district to meet special nutrition standards and benchmarks.
Yogurt parfaits, last year's hot ticket breakfast item, will be brought back on select days during the week as a breakfast menu option, Mr. McCarty said.
Typical breakfast options are fat-free milk, fresh fruit, egg, cheese and sausage tacos and assorted cereals.
"The kids really like the cereals and they have different options to eat every day," Mr. McCarty said. "It's about what the kids want and will eat, but at the same time, we can't always give them everything they want."
The final menu for all the school meals was not finalized by press time, but many items on last year's menu will be returning, and several new items will be added, he said.
For more information about the Indian River County School District, visit www.indianriverschools.org.