Serving Up Success: Buncombe County’s Donna Farmer

Action For Healthy Kids

Buncombe County Schools, North Carolina

During the 2015- 2016 school year, Donna Farmer was the cafeteria manager at Avery’s Creek Elementary School in Buncombe County, North Carolina where she implemented breakfast in the classroom, and had such success that they were one of three winners in the North Carolina No Kid Hungry Breakfast Challenge in 2016. From there, Donna became a supervisor within Buncombe County School’s Child Nutrition Department, and to implement breakfast in the classroom in 29 (and counting!) schools in Buncombe County for the 2016- 2017 school year.

Buncombe County received 12 breakfast grants from Action for Healthy Kids, funded by Kellogg’s, for the 2016- 2017 school year. Buncombe County Schools used the grants to convert their cafeterias from serving breakfast to delivering breakfast in carts, cooler bags, hot bags and wagons to make it easier for students to access breakfast and increase participation. Donna created a concise process and step-by-step guide for staff (both classroom and cafeteria) to implement the new breakfast program. Thanks to Donna’s exactness and attention to detail, the breakfast programs in Buncombe County Schools are smooth, easy and consistent from school to school.

Breakfast participation has increased and many more Buncombe County Schools are expanding the program! For example, Black Mountain Primary School in Black Mountain, North Carolina went from a 34.42% average daily participation in March 2016 to a 96.84% average daily participation in March 2016, after Donna Farmer implemented breakfast in the classroom at the schools. Many teachers and staff were skeptical of the change, the mess, the difficulty, but Donna met with everyone to make the transition smooth and even made a video, starring their very own students from Buncombe County Schools, to explain the process.

Read more at the Action For Healthy Kids site.