Community Tailgate Kicks Off New School Breakfast

Carrie Morfino, Foodservice Director, Fraser Public Schools, Fraser, MI

Everyone loves a party especially when it’s held in the fall, outdoors, and in conjunction with football!  Creative and smart-thinking on the part of Foodservice Director, Carrie Morfino, led her to plan and conduct a tailgate-style taste-test party to kickoff new school breakfast offerings.

breakfast sandwichFraser’s breakfast tailgate was held in conjunction with a community tailgate that takes place every year before the first home football game. The purpose of the tailgate was to introduce or reintroduce students and families to school breakfast. Morfino says, “Many families forget that we offer breakfast at school.  We want to increase school breakfast participation. The breakfast tailgate was a way for our foodservice staff to promote some of our new school breakfast items and to get out there and remind students and families that we offer a healthy, nutritious, and affordable breakfast at school every day.”

At the breakfast tailgate, the Fraser foodservice staff and guest chef Dave McNamara from the Michigan Department of Education, brought breakfast from the cafeteria to the parking lot where attendees of all ages sampled new school breakfast items such as Two Cakes and a Patty and Egg and Cheese Sweet Thai Chili Muffins.

One parent at the tailgate, Laurie Letwak, commented that many parents leave for work early in the morning before their children leave for school or have eaten breakfast.  She said, “It’s nice to know they can kids can get a healthy breakfast at school.” 

 “Foodservice directors need to get creative,” says Chef Dave.  “There are new and tougher school breakfast regulations and directors need to balance ‘healthy’ with students’ current desires and tastes.”  McNamara suggests watching the fast food industry for trends and talking to students about what they like and want to eat.  

Chef Dave and Morfino both agree that ongoing feedback from students, and tweaking procedures by school and food service staff to address that feedback, is critical to school breakfast success.  In addition, if the research results on breakfast seen across the country apply to Fraser, the district will see higher attendance rates, lower amounts of tardiness, and higher test scores as a result of their school breakfast efforts.

This story is part of a School Breakfast Success Story Compendium by Michigan Team Nutrition. To read more success stories, click here!


Nicholas Drzal, RD, MPH, Michigan Department of Education

Chris Flood, MS; Nutrition Communications Consultant, Healthy Habits Today

Carrie Morfino, Foodservice Director, Fraser Public Schools, Fraser, MI