(Miami, FL, Monday, March 7, 2016) - According to a recent survey commissioned by No Kid Hungry, residents in Miami-Dade County see childhood hunger as a serious and immediate problem in their community. They believe connecting kids with school-provided meals, through programs like Breakfast in the Classroom, can lead to better outcomes for students and their families.
In Florida, one in four children struggle with hunger, yet only 43% of kids eligible for free or reduced priced school lunch in Miami-Dade are getting the school breakfast they need, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Debra Susie, President and CEO with Florida Impact, is working with Miami-Dade schools to identify barriers that keep kids from getting breakfast and to implement solutions that connect more kids with the food they need.
WHEN SCHOOL DISTRICTS TRY INNOVATIVE WAYS TO SERVE CHILDREN OUTSIDE THE CAFETERIA AND AFTER THE FIRST BELL, WE SEE A DRAMATIC JUMP IN KIDS EATING BREAKFAST. THAT MEANS MORE KIDS STARTING THEIR DAY READY TO FOCUS AND LEARN. IF WE CAN MAKE THE SCHOOL BREAKFAST PROGRAM MORE ACCESSIBLE, MIAMI-DADE CHILDREN CAN GET THE HEALTHY FOOD THEY NEED EACH MORNING.
Steve Marcus, President and CEO of the Health Foundation of South Florida, serves on Florida Impactâ€™s board. Heâ€™s advocating for alternative models that make it easy and enjoyable for kids to eat school breakfast.
ALTERNATIVE MODELS TO FEED KIDS BREAKFAST WORK. THERE ARE ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS IN SOUTH FLORIDA THAT ARE SERVING BREAKFAST IN THE CLASSROOM, WHILE OTHERS HAVE GRAB AND GO MEALS FOR OLDER KIDS. SCHOOL BREAKFAST CAN MAKE A DRAMATIC DIFFERENCE IN STUDENT PERFORMANCE. IN FACT, SEVENTY-THREE PERCENT OF EDUCATORS REPORT KIDS HAVE BETTER CONCENTRATION IN CLASS AFTER BREAKFAST.