Press Release: Maryland Schools Celebrate National School Breakfast Week March 3-7
School Breakfast Promotes Health and Learning
For Immediate Release
Contact: William Reinhard, 410-767-0486 Bruce Schenkel, 410-767-0225
Baltimore, MD (February 28, 2014)
School systems throughout Maryland will celebrate National School Breakfast Week, March 3-7, 2014. This weeklong celebration recognizes the importance of the School Breakfast Program (SBP) and its role in preparing students for academic success. Nationwide, more than 12 million students begin their day ready to learn thanks to a nutritious school breakfast.
In Maryland, nearly 200,000 students eat school breakfast every day. Research shows that students who eat school breakfast are less likely to miss school, more likely to arrive on time, make fewer visits to the school nurse, have less discipline problems, and score better on some standardized tests.
Maryland’s local school systems utilize a variety of breakfast delivery models to increase students’ access to a healthy morning meal. The Maryland Meals for Achievement Program, an innovative in-class breakfast program, operates in 366 schools throughout the State, reaching over 170,000 students every school day. Other breakfast delivery models, such as “Grab and Go” and “Second Chance”, allow students to select a breakfast from the cafeteria or a hallway kiosk and consume the meal in their classrooms. Such alternative delivery models reduce participation barriers when breakfast is served before the start of the school day.
“Maryland recognizes the strong connection between eating a healthy school breakfast and academic success. As such, the State Department of Education is focused on making school breakfast available to all students,” said State School Superintendent Lillian Lowery.
In 2010, Congress revised the School Breakfast Meal Pattern through the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act. The revised nutrition standards are based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and recommendations made by the Institute of Medicine. The nutrition improvements include offering low fat and non-fat milk choices, increasing portions of fruit, and serving more whole grains.
Local school systems’ nutrition directors develop the school meal menus. When planning menu choices, directors must consider federal regulations, nutritional quality, affordability, and student preferences. We applaud the work of all those involved at the local level to ensure that students are fed healthy meals every day.
The Maryland State Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are equal opportunity employers and providers.