QUOTE OF THE MONTH:
“As the principal, I have the responsibility to feed all students. In the traditional way of serving school breakfast, we might reach 30% of kids, now we reach 70%. I’ll take that any day.”
– Clint Mitchell, Principal, Fairfax County
SNAPSHOT OF OUR SUCCESS:
Statewide Attention Drawn to Successes in Virginia
In his last State of the Commonwealth Address, Gov. McAuliffe celebrated statewide progress in the fight to end childhood hunger. Virginia schools served 5 million more school breakfasts than the year before, expanding access to the school breakfast program for more than 20,000 children from low-income families.
In State Senator Dick Saslaw’s Richmond Report this month, he also highlighted the No Kid Hungry program in Virginia, and noted that the 5 million more school breakfasts served are resulting in better student behavior and higher tests scores.
Together, we will continue to work to ensure that all Virginia kids get to start their day with the healthy breakfast they need.
New Breakfast Participation Numbers Show Big Growth in Virginia
The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) has released their annual School Breakfast Scorecard and companion report on school breakfast performance in 73 large school districts.
The main takeaways: Last year saw a dramatic increase in school breakfast participation among low-income students. According to the report, this is due in large part to more schools beginning to serve Breakfast After the Bell as a seamless part of the school day.
This good news extended to Virginia, which with an 8.5% jump in participation was one of the top 10 states with the biggest growth in breakfast participation.
No Kid Hungry Virginia and its local partners have focused on Breakfast After the Bell as a critical way to end childhood hunger in Virginia. The increase shown in the report could not have happened without a lot of hard work done from champions in Virginia’s school districts, including principals, teachers, and food & nutrition staff to connect kids to the breakfast they need.
IN THE NEWS:
Oakridge Elementary teachers, principals, and students interviewed by the Arlington Connection all gave rave reviews of their Breakfast in the Classroom program. On Jan. 9th, First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe visited the Arlington school to see it in action:
“On Jan. 9, Virginia First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe visited the school to see the program’s effect in action. McAuliffe has promoted Breakfast After the Bell models in elementary schools. In the FY2017 school year, over $1 million in state funding was committed to help schools transition to this model. For FY2018, 765 schools have applied to receive the funding and 463 have been accepted.
‘We didn’t realize the positive impact that having children eating together would have,’ said Lynne Wright, principal of Oakridge. ‘It allows everyone to come to school with a full belly. We’re flexible with [teacher and student] schedules and teachers have found that behavior has improved.’”
WSLS10 (NBC) featured Giles County Schools’ new “Fast Break” program, made possible by a grant from No Kid Hungry Virginia:
“As more research links student success in the classroom to eating a healthy breakfast, one school district in the New River Valley is taking extra steps to ensure all students have the chance to eat before the school day. Giles County Public Schools received a grant from No Kid Hungry Virginia. They’ve now started a second 45-minute breakfast period called ‘Fast Break’ … Since launching the program at the beginning of January, they serve on average, 80 more students breakfast a day. That’s 1,300 more breakfasts than before.”
For the next year and a half, No Kid Hungry is embedding a filmmaker in two Virginia schools to document the experiences of kids, educators and families participating in the VA365 project. This project is the largest pilot project of its kind ever to be funded by the USDA, and No Kid Hungry is working closely with the Virginia Department of Education to make it happen. In mid-February, the Storytelling team shared stories on the No Kid Hungry Instagram from their work on the documentary film at a school in Bristol. Keep an eye out for more updates to come!
No Kid Hungry Virginia partners with the Virginia Department of Health to fight hunger when school is out for the summer. The Campaign is providing infrastructure grants and technical assistance to scale successful summer meals programs across the Commonwealth. At the end of the month, No Kid Hungry Virginia will convene stakeholders in Richmond and Roanoke to conduct collaborative planning.
The Summer Food Service Program provides federal funding to eligible sponsor organizations to provide meals and snacks to children during the summer months when school is not in session. Nationally, SFSP serves 2 million children a day in the summer.