I’m a big believer in the importance of breakfast, especially on school days. I think of it as brain food and body fuel, so this article caught my eye. These surveys raise some alarming data about kids and hunger, and the documented benefits to learning of a healthy breakfast. Hats off to “No Kid Hungry” for raising awareness and funds to end childhood hunger…
1) STUDENTS DON’T EAT BREAKFAST: Even though more than 21 million low-income kids in the U.S. rely on a free or reduced-price school lunch, only half, about 11 million, are also getting a school breakfast. [FRAC School Breakfast Scorecard, 2011-2012]
2) TEACHERS SEE HUNGER: Nearly two-thirds (62%) of K-8 public school teachers said they had children in their classrooms who regularly came to school hungry because there wasn’t enough to eat at home. [No Kid Hungrys Hunger In Our Schools survey, 2012]
3) BREAKFAST IS KEY TO LEARNING: Teachers said school breakfast led to increased concentration (95%), better academic performance (89%) and better behavior in the classroom (73%). [No Kid Hungrys Hunger In Our Schools survey, 2012]
4) BREAKFAST CHANGES LIVES: According to an analysis of the long-term impact of school breakfast, this morning meal does more than simply provide children with essential daily nutrition. On average, students who eat school breakfast have been shown to achieve 17.5% higher scores on standardized math tests and attend 1.5 more days of school per year. These factors are linked to a child’s improved chance of getting a high school diploma, and high school graduates are more likely to be employed, earn higher wages and see greater self-sufficiency as adults. [Ending Childhood Hunger: A Social Impact Analysis, 2013]
5) YOU CAN HELP MORE KIDS GET BREAKFAST: The No Kid Hungry campaign has found that innovative ways of serving breakfast, like moving it from the cafeteria to the classroom, can give many more kids a chance to benefit from breakfast at school. Increasing participation in school breakfast is just one way No Kid Hungry is making sure all kids get the food they need every day, and you can help. We’re building an online map that paints a virtually unprecedented view of school breakfast programs across the country. We’re asking people to call a school(s), ask three simple questions about school breakfast and report their findings into our online map. Visit NoKidHungry.org/Breakfast to get started.