Watch: Pass Christian elementary students have breakfast with Deuce McAllister
PASS CHRISTIAN -- Drew Brees was well represented Wednesday morning at Pass Christian Elementary School as a large contingent of students sported the Saints quarterback's jersey. There were a few Marques Colston jerseys and even jerseys for Reggie Bush and Jeremy Shockey.
The students were showing their best "Who Dat" spirit as they welcomed former Saints running back and Ole Miss alumnus Deuce Mcallister to their cafeteria as part of the school's reward for winning the "Mississippi Breakfast Challenge," an initiative to increase the number of breakfasts served in schools. The contest was sponsored by the "Fuel Up to Play 60" campaign, a collaboration between the National Dairy Council and the NFL to help students commit to healthier lifestyles.
Pass Elementary won first place in the elementary school non-CEP category. The school was recognized for increasing its number of breakfast participants by almost nine percent.
Gautier Middle School won first place in the middle school non-CEP category. McAllister also was scheduled to visit Gautier Middle students Wednesday afternoon.
"I'm here at Pass Christian, because they've done a great job with this program," McAllister said.
McAllister learned from an early age, he said, the importance of eating breakfast.
"They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it gives you the energy you need to start the day," he said. "When I was in school, I tried to eat breakfast at school every day."
The recognition was the end result of months of hard work by the school's director of food services, Saundra Isabelle.
"The word 'breakfast' means to 'break fast,'" Isabelle said. "Students need to eat to get their energy up after sleeping for eight hours or so. Breakfast is the best way for them to do this."
Isabelle said students have three options for the meal, which is served beginning at 7 a.m.
"We have a regular breakfast in the cafeteria, a 'grab and go' breakfast for the students that need something quick and then we have breakfast in the classroom for our younger students," she said.
Pass Elementary principal Kenitra Barnes said that more than 200 students out of almost 600 are participating in the breakfast program.
"This is very exciting for us," Barnes said. "The staff has worked so hard to make this happen. You can see an improvement in the students who eat breakfast."
Lauren Carter, 11, is a fifth grade student at Pass Elementary. She said enjoys the school's breakfast options.
"I love breakfast and I love lunch," Lauren said. "They have good food."
But Lauren said she was also excited to see McAllister.
"We really, really want autographs," she said. "My brother's name is Luke, and he's in the third grade. We both love the Saints. Our step-dad is the biggest Saints fan. He loves them a lot."