By Prince Edward County Public Schools Newsroom
The national anti-hunger campaign No Kid Hungry has announced five winners of its 2018 Breakfast Hero contest. The new contest was launched during National School Breakfast Week in March to celebrate champions who make school breakfast possible for kids in need. The winners include educators and administrators from school districts across the country who were nominated by members of their local community.
The following individuals and teams were named 2018 No Kid Hungry Breakfast Heroes:
- Mary Harryman, Child Nutrition Director for Pasadena Independent School District in Pasadena, Texas.Mary Harryman has worked tirelessly to ensure students at Pasadena ISD continue to receive healthy meals following Hurricane Harvey. “Not only has Pasadena worked to provide meals under challenging conditions,” said John Puder of Texas Hunger Initiative. “They’ve expanded alternative breakfast options and after school meal programs.” 1 in every 4 kids in Texas face hunger; 79% of students in Pasadena Independent School District are eligible for free and reduced price meals.
- Jamie Hill, Principal of Pelham Elementary School in Pelham, Tennessee. Last year Principal Hill decided to pilot breakfast in the classroom to make sure that the students at Pelham Elementary had every opportunity to start the day with breakfast. “Principal Hill is passionate about making his school a hunger-free refuge for his students,” said Madison Wall with the Tennessee Justice Center. “When you speak with him, it’s clear that he has tremendous compassion for his students.” 1 in every 5 kids in Tennessee face hunger; 95% of students at Pelham Elementary School are eligible for free and reduced price meals.
- Andrew Weisman, Food Service Director for Peekskill City School District in Peekskill, New York “Andrew is a game changer and such a tremendous asset and advocate for our students,” said Robin Zimmerman, the Assistant Superintendent for Business for Peekskill County School District. “We have fresh cracked eggs, cheese and meat sandwiches daily for breakfast in all five of our buildings. Andrew puts a lot of time and effort into working with the staff and community to ensure our students have the best meal offerings possible.” 1 in every 5 kids in New York face hunger; 93% of students in Peekskill City School District are eligible for free and reduced price meals.
- The cafeteria staff, administration and teachers of Prince Edward County Elementary School in Farmville, Virginia. When approached about starting a breakfast in the classroom program last year, Prince Edward County Elementary School jumped at the opportunity. “With no hesitation they were on board, I saw excitement,” said Bruce Davis, the district’s Supervisor of Food Service. “There was not a negative voice in the room when we explained the program to the teachers.” According to Davis, it’s really taken the support of the full team and school community to make breakfast in the program run smoothly. “Our food service staff have gone above and beyond the call of duty,” Davis says. “They’ve come up with a plan to make things run smooth and simple.” 1 in every 7 kids in Virginia face hunger; 89% of students at Prince Edward County Elementary School are eligible for free and reduced price meals.
- The Cascade Elementary School Breakfast Team, of Cascade Elementary School in Renton, Washington [Rachel Lockhart, principal; Jackie Hood, kitchen manager; Leah Swanson, registered dietician; Lindsey Barkley, nutrition services field manager]. Cascade Elementary School’s breakfast program has become a model for the district, according to Ayako Shapiro with United Way of King County. “This amazing group of people, each with a different role at the school and in the district, worked highly collaboratively with us to build out a Breakfast in the Classroom model,” said Shapiro. “They brought excitement, enthusiasm, and a willingness to try new things and problem solve together every day. So many more students are now accessing breakfast as a result of all of their hard work.” 1 in every 5 kids in Washington face hunger; 60% of students at Cascade Elementary School are eligible for free or reduced price meals.
Research shows that hunger has long-term ramifications on children, including lower test scores, weaker attendance rates, and a higher risk of hospitalizations and chronic diseases. No Kid Hungry and its partners focus on school breakfast as a critical way to end childhood hunger.
Accessing traditional cafeteria breakfast service can be challenging for many kids. Breakfast After the Bell provides breakfast in a way that is more convenient and accessible to students, resulting in more kids starting the day ready to learn.
Each winner will receive a prize package from No Kid Hungry, and will be recognized with a banner to be displayed in their school.
See full coverage here.