Food security helps kids do better in school

NE_Appleseed_Icons_ChildrensHealth-128It is well-known in the science and children’s health communities that kids who receive enough to eat have all sorts of better outcomes than kids who go hungry.

The latest example comes from Calhan Elementary School in Colorado, where the school noticed a series of big improvements after instituting a new Breakfast After the Bell program that makes sure every child receives a nutritious breakfast.

From a recent story in the Colorado Springs Gazette:

“Calhan teachers and administrators are thrilled with the results. Tardies have dropped 23 percent because kids want to get to school for breakfast. Test scores have improved, and so has the behavior and attention span of the kids, says Linda Slothower, Calhan elementary principal.”

Making sure our children are food secure is one of the biggest responsibilities we have.  It ensures children are healthy and have a better chance at a bright future.

One of the best ways we can keep our kids healthy and food secure is through increasing Nebraska’s participation in the federal school breakfast program.  According to the “School Breakfast Scorecard” report from the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), Nebraska ranked 49th out of all states and the District of Columbia in the percentage of eligible children who were able to receive breakfast at school during the 2011-2012 school year.

We can and must do more to meet the needs of hungry children, and we can help by increasing participation in the School Breakfast Program.  No Nebraska child should go hungry, and reaching even more kids with a healthy morning meal will allow more Nebraska children to see the valuable impacts breakfast has on learning and health.

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