September is Hunger Action Month, and according to No Kid Hungry, 1 in 5 children in the U.S. struggles with hunger.
I can’t imagine what it feels like to be hungry and not have the means to feed myself. Several years ago as a young single mom in my early 20’s, there was a time when I worked to pay my bills, rent, and buy groceries for my son and me. I budgeted $40 a week food, which isn’t much, but made the most of this money so my son and I did not have to do without.
We were lucky. Not everyone has this ability.
It pains my heart to know there are children in our great country who go without food. Not only are they in our country, but in our own community. It could be your next door neighbor. Maybe it’s your child’s best friend. You may not even realize it, because from the outside they seem to be doing fine … but the reality is these parents may make too much money for food stamps, but not enough to adequately stock the pantry.
My family and I chose to live in Lexington County School District 1 because we feel it has some of the best schools and teachers in the Columbia area. This year my children’s school started serving free breakfast to all students in their classrooms, which makes our mornings A LOT easier. When I drop my kids off, they are offered a healthy meal which helps fuel their day for learning. And although it allows me to have one less thing to worry about at the start of our day, what is even more satisfying is knowing EVERY CHILD has this same opportunity.
I reached out to Becky Bean, the Communications Director at Lexington School District 1, to find out more about the new initiative.
Why is it important for all children in Lexington 1 to have free breakfast in the classroom?
Offering breakfast in the classroom makes the morning meal accessible to all students and ensures that all students have the opportunity to start the day with the nutrients and energy they need to learn better, behave better and perform better in school.
Which schools in Lexington 1 are providing free breakfast in the classroom to all students?
We are piloting the “Breakfast in the Classroom” at six schools this year. (Gilbert Elementary, Gilbert Primary, Forts Pond Elementary, Pelion Elementary, Red Bank Elementary and Saxe Gotha Elementary)
Why were these six schools chosen?
The six schools were selected because of the high free and reduced student population.
Why breakfast? Why not lunch?
Less than half of students who qualify for school breakfast actually take advantage of it. Moving breakfast to the classroom allows all students to take advantage of a healthy start to the day, without any stigma and without impacting or diminishing learning time.
Who is funding this program?
Our Breakfast in the Classroom Pilot Program is a “Universal Service.” There is no cost to the student. Breakfast meals are reimbursed by the USDA under the National School Lunch and Breakfast Program.
Eating a healthy breakfast is essential to learning. I am so glad schools around the nation are implementing programs like “Breakfast in the Classroom” to give ALL children the opportunity to make the most of their educational opportunities.
Want to help? You can donate money to help children eat a healthy breakfast at school. During the whole month of September, if you dine out at certain restaurants, they will give back to the No Kid Hungry campaign.