RICHMOND, Va. (Feb. 24, 2020) – National School Breakfast Week takes place March 2-6 to increase awareness about the healthy choices available for school breakfast. No Kid Hungry Virginia uses the week to highlight the importance of Breakfast After the Bell, a program that increases access to school breakfast by making breakfast a part of the school day.
One in seven children in Virginia lives in families that struggle with hunger. No Kid Hungry Virginia and its partners focus on Breakfast After the Bell as a critical way to end childhood hunger in Virginia.
Nearly 1,300 Virginia schools have Breakfast After the Bell programs. A new study by the University of California Santa Barbara on behalf of No Kid Hungry shows that when schools implement Breakfast After the Bell they can potentially see chronic absenteeism rates drop, on average, by six percentage points. Additional research also indicates that eating breakfast at school helps children improve classroom performance and promotes healthy habits.
While a majority of schools offer breakfast, barriers such as transportation and early start times can make it difficult for many kids to participate. Breakfast After the Bell makes breakfast more convenient and accessible for students.
Breakfast After the Bell models include:
- Breakfast After the Bell: Students eat breakfast in their classroom after the official start of the school day. Meals are delivered to classrooms from the cafeteria via coolers or insulated rolling bags.
- Grab & Go: Students pick up conveniently packaged breakfasts from mobile service carts in high traffic areas that are convenient to students, such as hallways, entryways or cafeterias.
- Second Chance: Students eat breakfast during a break in the morning, often between first and second period or midway between breakfast and lunch.
“Eating breakfast at school helps students improve classroom performance, attendance and promotes healthy habits,” said Claire Mansfield, No Kid Hungry Virginia state director. “This School Breakfast Week we’re excited to celebrate all the schools across Virginia with Breakfast After the Bell programs. Together, we’re helping end childhood hunger in our state.”
No Kid Hungry Virginia and its local partners’ support of Breakfast After the Bell programs could not be done without the generous help of the following Virginia sponsors: Amazon, Kellogg’s, Food Lion and Smithfield Foods.
The Accomack County School System provides free breakfasts and lunches to all students regardless of ability to pay.
Visit va.nokidhungry.org for more information about No Kid Hungry Virginia’s work and Breakfast After the Bell.