Breakfast — as well as physical activity — is crucial to a kid’s ability to learn throughout the school day.
“A healthy breakfast ensures that a student gets the most out of their education,” said Kat Haney, who coordinates the North Country Healthy Heart Network’s Creating Healthy Schools and Communities (CHSC) program. “Breakfast leads to more focused students, which benefits teachers as well.”
“Breakfast powers kids to reach their full potential,” said Rachel Sabella, director of No Kid Hungry New York. “Making breakfast a part of the school day has a positive impact on learning, absenteeism, behavior and health. That’s good for kids and it’s good for New York.”
The Heart Network’s CHSC program partners with schools to promote nutrition and physical activity. In Malone, at Franklin Academy, the Heart Network used CHSC funds to buy a breakfast cart, which is used for “breakfast after the bell.”
“Many high school students don’t feel hungry first thing in the morning and often skip breakfast, which leads them to fatigue after their first or second class of the day,” Haney explained. “While Franklin Academy does keep their cafeteria open during this first part of the day, its location is at the far end of the school on the bottom floor, making it impossible for students to get to the cafeteria and back upstairs in the three minutes they have between classes. This cart is stationed amongst the classrooms so that these students can quickly and easily grab breakfast before heading to their next class.”
Since being introduced in the fall of 2018, use of the breakfast cart has increased considerably.
More school breakfast facts:
- 1 in 6 children in New York State struggle with hunger
- 1 in 3 low-income students eat free or reduced price school breakfast in New York
- 3 out of 4 teachers say they see kids who are regularly coming to school hungry
- 92% of teachers say they are concerned about how hunger impacts their students’ ability to succeed
To learn more about how the Heart Network’s CHSC program supports nutrition and physical activity initiatives across the region, contact Kat Haney at firstname.lastname@example.org.