'Got breakfast?' campaign taps tennis star for awareness push

NEW YORK: After spending its inaugural year educating the public on the importance of breakfast for school children, the "got breakfast?" campaign has decided to center many of its efforts in 2007 around the Classroom Breakfast program, hoping the model will address logistical hurdles that come with serving students breakfast.

NEW YORK: After spending its inaugural year educating the public on the importance of breakfast for school children, the "got breakfast?" campaign has decided to center many of its efforts in 2007 around the Classroom Breakfast program, hoping the model will address logistical hurdles that come with serving students breakfast.

As part of their honed approach, the group has brought in tennis star Anna Kournikova to raise the profile of their events, the first of which came last month to honor Bill Thompson, a North Palm Beach Elementary School principal, who has promoted the Classroom Breakfast program throughout his school district.

The Classroom Breakfast model allows students to be served their meal while at their desk at the beginning of the day, helping to address problems with time constraints and limited staffing. According to the Food Research and Action Center, more than $500 million in federal funds available to provide school breakfast to children in need are not being accessed.

“We feel this is the ideal model to reach children,” said Gary Davis, a “got breakfast” partner and founder of East Side Entrees. “If you can feed them at their desk it’s a win-win situation and he was getting tremendous results getting other schools to follow suit.”

Kournikova is donating her time to the campaign, according to Davis, and they plan on continuing to use her at future events.

“Obviously part of it is getting media exposure, but we’re also trying to leverage that day’s events to use it to educate other principals,” said Philip Ramirez, VP with Group Gordon Strategic Communications, which has worked with the foundation since its inception. Group Gordon has helped shape the original campaign, including the naming and messaging of the campaign.

The foundation is made up of a coalition of public officials and organizations such as Share Our Strength, the Alliance to End Hunger, the National Dairy Council, East Side Entrees, General Mills and Minute Maid.

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