DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Governor Cooper is announcing a series of grants that will help expand school breakfast programs across the state.

During a press conference at Glenn Elementary School in Durham County, the governor revealed Tuesday that $1.4 million in federal funding will pay for grants of up to $50,000 for each qualifying school district. It’s being paid for by funding Congress appropriated for governors at the start of the pandemic.

Cooper discussed how hard it can be for students to focus when they’re hungry.

“You can’t teach a hungry child. If a child hasn’t eaten, then clearly that child is going to be more distracted,” Cooper said.



Officials with Durham Public Schools say they’ve seen a 19 percent jump in participation for this year’s breakfast programs. Director of school nutrition James Keaton tells CBS 17 that students at Glenn Elementary are performing better since getting involved with the school’s “Breakfast in the Classroom” initiative.

“They’re getting homework help, it gives them time to just get settled and they don’t have as many discipline problems,” Keaton said.

State leaders said the grant applications will go out within the next couple of months. The federal funding must be spent by September 2024.