By Ellen Dillon, Senior Manager, School Breakfast Programs, Action for Healthy Kids
As a former schoolteacher, I can't imagine trying to teach kids when their most recent meal was yesterday's lunch. Yet that's what many of our nation's teachers face each day: a roomful of students who aren't hungry to learn – because they're simply hungry.
It's a battle no one wins. Research tells us that kids who start the day with breakfast tend to do better in school.1 But when kids have growling stomachs and hunger headaches, teachers can't teach. Discipline problems pop up. All for lack of a simple, nutritious breakfast.
That's what motivates us here at Action for Healthy Kids® (AFHK). Our School Breakfast for Healthy Kids program helps more kids get the breakfast they need, thanks to our partnership with Kellogg Company. Kellogg Company Fund grants will help AFHK provide school breakfast programs for 187 schools in 24 districts for the 2016-2017 school year – up from the 151 schools funded during the 2015-2016 school year. This support helps schools pay for needed equipment and other costs associated with breakfast programs without burdening their already-tight budgets. In addition, AFHK's technical assistance provides additional best practices and resources to support district food service staff with their changes.
Our breakfast programs help many more students get a much-needed nutritious start to their day (CLICK TO TWEET). Among our recent success stories:
- Granite School District, in Salt Lake City, Utah, greatly expanded its breakfast program participation by offering breakfast in the classroom free of charge for all students. Before the program began, only 27 percent of students participated in the cafeteria-based breakfast program. With the new program, they saw a 166 percent increase and now average 72 percent in student participation.
- In Sheboygan, Wisconsin, district food service staff helped school officials understand the connection between kids' nutritional needs and their performance at school. Even with minimal infrastructure, the newly implemented breakfast program resulted in 45 percent more student participation.
Since 2009, Kellogg has helped us provide an estimated 21 million new breakfasts to 135,284 hungry or undernourished students across the country. This is a company that truly "walks the walk, and talks the talk." The work we do, and its impact on thousands of kids, is the direct result of generous support from Kellogg Company and its employees.
Together, we are helping more kids succeed at school and get all As in nutrition – by starting their day with breakfast!
Expanding school breakfast programs is part of Kellogg Company's Breakfasts for Better Days global signature cause, launched in 2013. To date, Kellogg has supported programs that have provided more than 1.7 billion servings of cereal and snacks (more than half of which are breakfast) to children and families in need around the world through Breakfasts for Better Days. For a complete list of funded schools, visit ActionforHealthyKids.org/Kellogg.
See this story in its entirety and more features like this online at Social K, Kellogg Company's online storytelling hub where you can dive deeper into topics that matter. Link to story: http://www.kelloggcompany.com/en_US/socialk/action-healthy-kids.html
1Kleinman RE, Hall S, Green H, Korzec-Ramirez D, Patton K, Pagano ME, Murphy JM. Diet, breakfast, and academic performance in children. Ann Nutr Metab. 2002;46 Suppl 1:24-30.
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