To learn more about support for breakfast expansion and/or funding opportunities for your school, please reach out to our School Breakfast Support Specialist. Food Insecurity and School Breakfast Childhood hunger and food insecurity can look differently to each family. It can mean that at the end of the month, funds and SNAP benefits are running low, so the pantry is empty. It can mean that a parent who is normally able to provide meals at home loses a job and loses the ability to provide for their family short-term or long-term. In rural areas, food access is not only tied to family funds to provide meals, but the distance required to travel to access those healthy meals in grocery stores. For the 1 in 6 children who struggle with hunger at home, the effects on their future can be long lasting. It affects their ability to learn in school, their overall health and wellness, and eventually their success as a future adult. Studies show that school breakfast can have a positive impact on a student’s academic and physical well-being, contributing to happier children and happier adults. To learn more about hunger in America and how if affects our students, click here. Why School Breakfast? We are all familiar with school lunch. It’s been a favorite period of many students for generations, and it has even been memorialized and taken for granted in pop culture as a required part of the school environment. At lunch time, students receive special, scheduled time set aside from classes to eat a meal. Why has breakfast been excluded? We collectively refer to it as the most important meal of the day, but we do not offer a special breakfast period for our students as a scheduled part of their school day. If a student does not have access to breakfast at home and/or cannot get to school early, that often translates to breakfast not eaten. Morning hunger leads to poor concentration in class, more behavioral problems, lower grades and test scores, more detentions, lower attendance rates, poor health outcomes and eventually lower graduation rates, contributing to poor long-term economic outcomes. To learn more about the social and economic impacts surrounding school breakfast, please click here. To inquire about breakfast support and/or funding for your school, please click here. Aren’t Students Offered School Breakfast? In Georgia, 947,530 students receive free or reduced lunch, but only 559,302 students receive free or reduced breakfast. Over 388,000 Georgia students in need are not receiving school breakfast. Why? For younger children, they may not get to school on time to make it to the cafeteria before class, either due to bus schedules, family schedules, or because they are forced to choose between playing with their friends and eating school breakfast. No child should have to choose between eating and playing. For teenagers, they may not make it to school until classes start due to their sleep schedules, or possibly because they are responsible for getting their younger siblings to school. Older children also may not be hungry early in the morning. In areas of higher need, many students come to school late, after the bell rings and traditional breakfast in the cafeteria has ended. Many students, due to economic factors and financial reasons, do not have access to breakfast at home. For the students who qualify for free and reduced meals, there is often a stigma associated with eating breakfast in the school cafeteria when other, non-qualifying students do not eat in the cafeteria. How can we combat this stigma? How can we increase access to breakfast for all Georgia students? Taking breakfast out of the cafeteria and bringing it to school hallways and school classrooms as a scheduled part of their day equalizes access to school breakfast. To learn more about barriers to school breakfast, please click here. No Kid Hungry and HealthMPowers Through a partnership with Share Our Strength and the national No Kid Hungry campaign, HealthMPowers will be partnering with high-need schools across Georgia to support and expand school breakfast programs through outreach, planning initiatives, training and marketing. Funding available for high-need schools can provide necessary equipment, supplies, materials and breakfast supporting initiatives, getting breakfast successfully out of the cafeteria and onto the desks of students. A few different breakfast program models can be implemented in schools through funding from the No Kid Hungry campaign. All a part of the Breakfast After the Bell program, these models include Breakfast in the Classroom, Grab-and-Go to the Classroom, and Second Chance Breakfast. These models translate to 63% and higher breakfast participation rates. Implementation of these models in schools is also possible without grant funding. To learn more about these models and which one works for your school, please click here. For support in implementing Breakfast After the Bell, please click here and email us here. SHARE OUR STRENGTH At Share Our Strength, we’re ending hunger and poverty – in the United States and abroad. Through proven, effective campaigns like No Kid Hungry and Cooking Matters, we connect people who care to ideas that work. NO KID HUNGRY No child should go hungry in America. But 1 in 6 kids will face hunger this year. No Kid Hungry is ending childhood hunger through effective programs that provide kids with the food they need. This is a problem we know how to solve. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of Share Our Strength, an organization working to end hunger and poverty. To learn more about breakfast expansion support and/or funding opportunities for your school, please reach out to Danielle Scudder, School Breakfast Support Specialist.