BATON ROUGE, La. (Office of the Governor) - On Wednesday, Gov. John Bel Edwards and First Lady Donna Edwards highlighted the importance of students eating a healthy breakfast by proclaiming March 5-9, 2018 as Louisiana School Breakfast Week. They also announced the winners of the No Kid Hungry Louisiana Breakfast Challenge aimed at ending child hunger in our state.
“Ending childhood hunger in Louisiana is not only achievable but imperative if we want to give our children every opportunity possible to be successful in school,” said Gov. Edwards. "Donna and I are excited to learn that the challenge has helped more schools across the state to understand how important it is for students to start their day in the right way. We also want to thank Dr. Dana Hunter and the Children’s Cabinet for elevating this issue and responding to the needs of our children. Congratulations to all who participated.”
“We are so proud of everyone who made this challenge a major win for the students and schools,” said Mrs. Edwards. “No child should go hungry in our state where food and compassion are plentiful. We have to do better by our students, and the outcome of this challenge proves that great things can happen when we work together.”
The celebration took place at North Corbin Junior High School in Livingston Parish where the winners were honored for participating in the state's first multi-agency 31-day school breakfast challenge. A total of 306 schools participated, which according to the Department of Education, saw an increase of 147,789 breakfast meals served to students from October 2016-2017. Each of the five winners received $1,000 in cash prizes sponsored by a No Kid Hungry Louisiana (NKH-LA) partner Share Our Strength as well as NFL Saints tickets and two-Pep Rallies featuring a Saints player or Saints Mascot which were donated by Fuel Up To Play 60 and The Dairy Alliance.
Since the Governor and First Lady announced the launch of NKH-LA in May 2017, more than 200 Superintendents and school principals have been encouraged to implement Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), which allows children and youth to eat free school breakfast and school lunch, after-school meals and summer meals. As a result, 90 additional schools have adopted CEP and now 40,000 more students have access to healthy nutritious meals.
The School Breakfast Program currently serves more than 14 million students every day nationwide. Studies show that students who eat school breakfast are more likely to:
• Reach higher levels of achievement in math
• Score higher on standardized tests
• Have better concentration, memory, and alertness
• Have improved attendance, behavior, and academic performance
• Maintain a healthy weight
Children’s Cabinet Director, Dr. Dana Hunter stated, “The early positive outcomes that we’ve seen from the statewide No Kid Hungry Louisiana Initiative can be attributed to our state’s leadership through Gov. Edwards and the cross-sector partnerships that we continue to build and establish across the state.”
In addition to increasing school breakfast participation and to further the efforts to end childhood hunger in our state, No Kid Hungry Louisiana through its lead partner organization Share Our Strength will be awarding $70,000 in grants to schools and non-profits who provide breakfast in the classroom, after-school meals and summer meals as part of USDA food and nutrition programs.
he deadline to apply is March 31, 2018. Please visit: https://la.nokidhungry.org/