Engaging Students

New London-Spicer Project BreakFAST

New London-Spicer High School staff and students channel The Hunger Games in a Project BreakFAST promotion. Watch the video.


In its third year, the University’s Project BreakFAST is a National Institutes of Health-funded study in partnership with 16 rural Minnesota high schools to improve access, awareness and use of breakfast programs among students

Housed within the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and led by Associate Professor Marilyn Nanney, the project tracks a variety of outcomes including health, academics and personal factors like food insecurity and attitudes about the benefits of breakfast at school and home.

To promote participation, Nanney tapped the talents of communications consultants from Community Blueprint to design a comprehensive marketing campaign customized to each school. The team worked with a wide range of stakeholders—from students to kitchen workers, janitors, teachers, and principals—to develop the student-targeted campaigns. As a result, schools have been reporting a doubling and tripling of student participation in school breakfast programs. Learn more about the marketing campaigns from Community Blueprint founder Andy Berndt.

"Strong partnerships with our school partners, University of Minnesota Extension, Community BluePrint and many community and state agencies have resulted in a fantastic project with broad reaching impact on adolescent health and hunger," says Nanny.

Project BreakFAST will conclude in the spring of 2016 with results to be disseminated nationally.